Local Daily News 4th August
The tourist rental sector denounces that one in three vacation homes are illegal
According to data handled by Aptur, the Association of Tourist Apartment Companies, 30% of the homes in the province of Alicante intended for holiday rentals are illegal. Although the figure is still high, ten years ago “pirate flats” for tourists were around 50%. The Valencian Tourism Agency has been carrying out information, awareness and inspection campaigns against intrusion in the tourist rental sector for several years. The results obtained have been very satisfactory in terms of new housing registrations in the Tourism registry. But from Aptur it is considered necessary to also adopt measures to verify if the owners comply with all the technical requirements of classification, facilities and services required by Decree 92/2009.
The data offered by the General Directorate of Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana show that the effort to put an end to black tourist flats is on the right track. In the whole of the Valencian Community there are currently 88,458 homes dedicated to this activity. Since 2019, more than 10,000 new ones have been registered in the official registry. This change in trend is largely due to the increase in on-site inspections to verify that the properties comply with current regulations. In 2021, 633 were carried out and so far in 2022, the technicians and Police officers of the Generalitat Valenciana have carried out 292.
The protests expressed through social networks by a group of tourists who rented a house to spend their holidays in Benidorm have not left the sector indifferent. The girls complained of dirt, broken furniture and suspicious stains on sheets and cushions. One of them points out that the house “looked good” when they saw it on Airbnb, which is the portal with which they carried out the operation. “The price was quite acceptable and had good reviews but the kitchen was a mess, the coffee mouldy, the oven dirty and smelling of burnt oil, the sockets dusty, the cutlery and plates dirty, the floor full of water with a strange colour, the bathroom without light, a broken coffee maker, there was no landlord”, he indicates, also denouncing that the platform did not offer them a relocation when they requested it due to the unsanitary conditions of the house.
Both the regional leaders of Tourism and the companies in the sector admit to feeling a growing concern about this type of situation. “Episodes of this type harm both the destination – in this case Benidorm and the whole of the province of Alicante – as well as the management companies and individuals who manage their flats professionally and within the law”, said Miguel Ángel Sotillos, president of Aptur. Although he does not know the details of the case that occurred in Benidorm, in his opinion everything points to a private rental apartment that could be illegal. That is why he advises travellers to contract with management companies and legal individuals instead of using platforms that lack the technical, material and human means to correct any problem immediately.
In any case, the casuistry is very wide. “There are pirate apartments that work because tourists hire them for their advantageous prices and, precisely for this reason, they lack maintenance and offer poor conditions and few solutions,” adds Sotillos, warning of the problem that travellers who make a rental can find themselves in. clandestine tourist “In that case, they cannot be considered consumers and, therefore, they lack the rights that assist them in such a case. In these circumstances, any breach of the conditions previously agreed between the two parties must be settled in civil proceedings,” he warns, alluding to also to the importance that it has for the clients to know the conditions of the cancellation.
To this we must add that not all platforms offer legal tourist apartments and some of those that offer them do not even check the registration number of the flat that shows that the activity is legal and is registered with the Valencian Tourism Agency.
“But there are also cheeky tourists who seek to take advantage of the situation, simulating damage or exaggerating the poor conditions of the house, to enjoy a vacation with free accommodation,” he finally indicates.
For this reason, Aptur calls for greater control of new registrations for tourist homes registered with the Valencian Tourism Agency and it is recalled, among other things, that regulated apartments must have a series of elements. For example, an emergency exit plan, a plate with the registration number in the Tourism registry, claim forms, annual certificate of disinfection of the home, sending the traveller’s file to the Police… obligations that many of the vacation homes that have been registered in recent years are not complying with.
Saturation in car workshops due to the lack of qualified personnel to meet the growing demand
What could have been a great business opportunity is turning into a real nightmare. Car workshops are being overwhelmed by the increase in work generated by the delays in the manufacture of new cars and the serious difficulties they are having in hiring personnel. The sector calculates that in the province of Alicante around a thousand workers are needed right now to be able to absorb the significant increase in activity, but the reality is that there is no qualified workforce. The fear of an economic recession is also contributing to lengthening the life of vehicles and saturating workshops.
The lack of components is a problem that has been dragging on since the outbreak of the covid crisis and that, far from tending to be solved, has worsened as a result of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. This phenomenon has had a serious impact on almost all industrial sectors, but, in a very special way, on the automotive sector, to the point that currently the waiting times to acquire a new car are on average six months. The delays are even much higher in certain models, especially the high-end ones.
On the other hand, the economic uncertainty that has taken over the international scene, with inflation running rampant right now, has led many to decide to postpone their purchase decisions. Also the existing doubts when opting for combustion or electric engines. The result of all these factors is that the fleet is ageing and breakdowns are becoming more frequent.
So the mechanical workshops are seeing how the work is increasing, until they are on the verge of saturation. This is attested to by the figures handled by the Spanish Federation of Professional Automotive Entrepreneurs (Conepa), which reflect in the first half of the year a 7% increase in the sector’s turnover at the national level, reaching 6,330 million euros. A percentage, in any case, misleading, since it could be much higher if the workshops passed on the increase in costs that they are suffering as a result of the increase in the cost of spare parts, tires and painting materials. “The workshops work and invoice more, but they earn less, which represents a threat at a time when constant investments in equipment and training are necessary,” highlights Víctor Ribera, general secretary of Conepa.
For his part, the president of the Association of Employers of Automotive and Related Workshops of the Province of Alicante (Atayapa), Guillermo Moreno, stresses that, indeed, work has increased exponentially in recent times, but that they are having serious difficulties to serve you due to lack of staff. “The problem – he indicates – comes from the worst time of confinement, when people had to be dispensed with who later did not return, having sought life in other sectors.” It is estimated that, at a minimum, the 1,100 workshops in the province require about a thousand workers, “and that we are trying to train people and collaborate with continuous vocational training,” he laments.
Alejandro Rico, manager of a workshop in Alicante, agrees with these assessments, stating that “right now there is a lot of demand for mechanics who have updated their knowledge. You also have to have a vocation, because it is hard work.” These difficulties, as well as problems finding spare parts, are causing delays in repairs and the consequent saturation of garages.
Orihuela presents the Orihuela Costa “Musical Summer” concerts
Antonio Sánchez, Councillor for Festivities of the Orihuela City Council, has presented “Verano Musical Agosto 2022”, a musical program for Saturday nights in August on the esplanade of the Playa Flamenca promenade in Orihuela Costa.
The concerts will be every Saturday in August starting at 11 pm with free admission, starting the first of them on Saturday, August 6, with a tribute to Joaquín Sabina, “Let’s say I’m talking about Joaquín.” On Saturday, August 13th, it will be Fran Valenzuela with the tribute to Alejandro Sanz, “What I was is what I am”.
For the second fortnight of August, Divina’s Pop is scheduled for Saturday, August 20, and to bid farewell to this program of “Verano Musical Agosto 2022” it will be on Saturday, August 27, with an appointment with the legend, Queen, with the tribute “Magic Queen Alive”.
Antonio Sánchez, Councillor for Festivities, explained that “unrestricted music returns to Orihuela Costa to enjoy leisure in the open air at night with live performances that pay tribute to great singers and musical groups”.
Meteorology certifies that the province records the hottest summer in history
A report from the State Meteorological Agency on the behaviour of the climate last July reveals that the driest month of the year was even drier, as it rained 60% less than normal for this month. July 2022 has been the second warmest since at least 1950, behind only July 2015. Summer is proving extremely hot.
There is no precedent for a June-July two-month period as warm as that of 2022, which is three tenths higher than the same period of the historic summer of 2003. Wednesday the heat continued and the Aemet has decreed a yellow alert in the Marina Alta.
As for the sea, the temperature continues at 30 degrees and rising, so it is not ruled out that from the second fortnight of this month it will reach 31 degrees, a historical maximum and the same as today in the Mar Menor (Murcia).
The heat anomaly has so far occurred during the last three weeks of July, as the first few days of July passed, with ups and downs, around the normal value. The warmest day was the 25th. That day the breezes entered the province of Alicante very late, especially in the south, where the wind was blowing from the southwest during the morning until at noon the breezes from the south began to enter along the coast. 44.9 ºC were reached in Orihuela, 44.5 in Elche/Elx, 43.5 in Petrer and Novelda and 43.0 in Monóvar. At the Alicante/Elche airport the maximum was 42.4 ºC, which is the highest value in this observatory since there are records (1967).
As July progressed, the nights became warmer, so that the nights of the 29th, 30th and 31st were the warmest of the month. In a large part of the coast, every night from the 26th they had a minimum temperature above 25 ºC and in many observatories the warmest night of a month of July was exceeded, such as that of Alicante, which with a minimum of 26.4 ºC on the 27th, it is the warmest July night at this observatory.
At the Valencia observatory, the record for the warmest night (of all the months of the year) was equaled on the 26th, with a minimum of 27.0 ºC and at the Valencia airport on the morning of the 27th, with a minimum of 27.1, that is the warmest night since at least 1966, when records began at this observatory.
According to José Ángel Núñez, from the Aemet, with stability, breeze regime or light wind from the east, which have been the weather conditions of the second fortnight of the month, one of the factors that has influenced that the minimum temperatures have been so high has been the anomalous temperature of the surface of the sea water.
Since May 12th, it is well above normal daily values, exceeding for long periods (80% of days since May 12th) the 95th percentile of the reference series (daily values of 2022 that are between 5 % of the warmest in the series) and that in half of the days since May 13th (40 of 80 days), the average sea surface temperature record has been the daily maximum since at least 1959. Also some buoys of Puertos del Estado have registered their historical maximum of surface temperature of the sea water, such as the València and the Cabo de Palos.
Such a warm sea implies very high minimums on the coast, and also the mechanisms of the breezes, both the diurnal ones from the sea and the night ones from the land, are less efficient, so that the breezes are weaker and, therefore, one of the the elements of our climate that provide thermal comfort have been very inhibited during the last ten days of July, giving rise to torrid nights, with minimum temperatures that have not dropped below 25ºC and with little ventilation and high humidity, greater than 80% during much of the morning.
The greatest anomaly, with records more than 3 ºC higher than the normal average value, has been recorded in the interior, especially in the interior of Castellón, Valencia and north of Alicante. On the coast, despite the warm breezes at the end of the month, in July as a whole they have managed to soften the atmosphere somewhat and the temperature anomaly has been less than 2 ºC.
The accumulated rainfall in the Community was 9.4 l/m2 in July, which is 20% lower than the climatic average for the period 1981-2010 (11.8 l/m2). By province, Alicante stands out, with a 60% rainfall deficit, in Valencia the deficit has been 54% and in Castellón there has been a surplus of 24% due to inland storms.
July was the driest month in almost 100% of the territory and both the precipitation deficits and surpluses that can be recorded in this month have very little weight in the annual balance and it also usually happens that, as little as it rains in July, the month is wet.
The province registers the greatest instability of teachers in the entire Community
The province registers the highest rates of instability among teachers in the entire Community. La Vega alone concentrates 35% of all interim teachers and the province in general brings together half of the teachers who do not have a permanent position, a situation that results in the fact that year after year practically all the teaching staff change in many educational centres, especially In the south.
In the opinion of the educational representatives, among the causes of this greater job insecurity is also a greater population mobility in Vinalopó and Vega Baja, for example, which in turn generates an educational system “under construction and unstable squares.
For the coming school year, specifically, Education foresees two new educational centres in Torrevieja, where year after year school enrollment exceeds more than a thousand students once the ordinary term closes at the end of September.”
Interim teachers who prefer to remain anonymous also point to other extremes that contribute to the aforementioned volume of interim, such as the Valencian requirement in the sense that it is more difficult for them to overcome it and achieve the final position later.
The endemic interim situation suffered by centres whose staff changes from one course to another up to 90% in the most extreme cases does not help either. In addition to the fact that it harms the students, who see different teachers pass through the classroom year after year, it does not contribute either to the fact that, once the position is chosen, the teacher decides to stay in centres where the majority of their classmates change continuously, which prevents carries out medium-term joint pedagogical projects.
From the outset, the jobs in the southern half of Alicante are usually occupied by the youngest professionals, who are taking their first professional steps, but among those consulted they confirm that in a short time they try to go to areas that are considered more stable, towards Valencia and Castellón.
In the last allocation of interim teaching positions for next year, which ended this week, the specialty of Infant Teacher has concentrated 63% of all interim positions in the province of Alicante and up to 35% in the southern area, data that from UGT they point out as “extrapolated to the whole of the 18,000 places awarded. Of the 1,600 places offered in this specialty, almost 1,000 correspond to Alicante, 400 to Valencia and 200 to Castellón, which shows that this situation of precariousness and temporality is aggravated especially in the province of Alicante.
The UGT delegate in education, Javier González Zurita, weighs that offering more than 18,000 vacancies for the start of the course supposes, out of a total of 60,000 teachers working in the Community, an average temporary rate in public teaching employment of 30%, which in Alicante increases to 50%.
“It means that every year and course the staff rotates, a constant and permanent change of almost a third of all professionals and teachers who work in schools, institutes and other non-university training centres.”
From UGT Enseñanza PV they therefore demand “to stabilise and permanently incorporate into our educational system in the coming years those 18,000 vacancies, jobs, or what is the same, stabilise and permanently incorporate between 18,000 and 20,000 “new” teachers”, far from the 9,000 positions that have been proposed from Education to comply with the new Iceta law that proclaims reducing temporary employment to 8% in each of the sectors.
Zurita recalls that “we ask for a greater offer of 13,000 places, 11,000 for merit competition and 2,000 in special oppositions that would allow progress towards the desirable stabilisation of the templates.”
From the Workers Commissions they add in turn that the places that Education successively calls to contribute to the aforementioned stabilisation “have more to do with the applicants who appear than with the provincial demography and Valencia, with a larger population, offers more fixed places.” What occurs in the south of the province is a growth that leads to enabling or creating only provisional educational positions, “compared to what we ask for, which is that they be consolidated,” Alfonso Terol alleges.
Provincial delegate, Terol points out that he has asked the administration that the service commissions recover their justification for family conciliation or health issues, because otherwise there are more gaps in Alicante and the movement of permanent jobs is concentrated to the north, in Valencia and Castellon. “Service commissions without justification do not stabilise staff” he warns.
He calculates on the other hand that the new law for job stability, where it will have to be most noticed precisely within three years and for all these reasons is in the province of Alicante.