Friday 30th December 2022 · Mike Smith
The World in April
Russian forces retreated from Kyiv as Ukraine accused them of committing war crimes against civilians, particularly in the town of Bucha. The UN voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, although 58 countries abstained. Meanwhile, the Russian flagship Moksva sank in the Black Sea; Ukraine claims responsibility whilst Russia insisted otherwise. The EU accused Russia of blackmail after gas supplies were halted to Poland and Bulgaria by energy giant Gazprom. Global food prices reached their highest levels since the UN Food Price Index began in 1990. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 500 million.
In Spain, it was reported that Algeria was threatening to cut off gas supplies to the country if any the gas was then sent on to Morocco, which the Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab warned would be considered a breach of contract. This potential diplomatic crisis came as Spain and Portugal reached agreement with the European Commission to set an upper limit of €50 MW/h on the price of gas. As the country continued recover from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish government announced that the wear of face masks indoors was to be relaxed, although they were still need to be worn on public transport and in health centres and hospitals. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met with Ukraine’s President, Volodímir Zelenski, in Kyiv to offer his support to the country and announce a new military aid package. Over 200 tonnes of military aid was expected to be sent immediately to the country. A crunch vote to pass emergency funding to deal with the financial impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine succeeded after the support of Basque nationalist party EH Bildu. There were concerns that the Government’s €16bn aid package would not pass through the Spanish parliament due to the ongoing political scandal surrounding spyware on Catalan sepratist’s mobile phones.
In the UK, the energy price cap for domestic gas and electricity rose to £1,971, the largest increase since the price cap was introduced; Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said that the country was facing the biggest single shock from energy prices since the 1970s. A rise in National Insurance contributions came into effect. It emerged that prime minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Rishi Sunak were among those issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching lockdown rules; Johnson became the first sitting Prime Minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law; he later apologised in the House of Commons amid claims that he didn’t realise he was breaking the law. Inflation hit 7%, the highest level since 1992. The UK signed up to the Rwanda asylum plan to fly thousands of migrants who crossed the English channel in lorries or on boats to the African country; the UN refugee agency condemns the plan, deeming it illegal. Conservative MP Neil Parish was reported to have been watching pornography on his mobile phone in the chamber of the House of Commons; he was suspended and later resigned as MP for Tiverton and Honiton; the by-election was won by the Liberal Democrats. Former Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker was jailed for two and half years for breaking UK insolvency laws.
Xàbia in April
01: The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport at the Generalitat Valenciana declared that a total of fifteen archaeological and paleontological sites across the region, including the island of Portitxol in Xàbia, would be finally be designated as assets of cultural interest (BIC) status.
01: The 125th anniversary celebrations marking the first visit of Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla to Xàbia entered the final stretch with two of the most important institutional events: the inauguration of the statue that would forever evoke the renowned artist painting in front of Cap de Sant Antoni and the name change of the maritime promenade in front of La Grava beach to Paseo Joaquin Sorolla.
Related Link: Sorolla paints the sunrises of Xàbia again
01: The municipal water company AMJASA signed a consultancy contract with the Center Internacional de Mètodes Numèrics a l’Enginyeria (CIMNE) of the Universitat Politècnia de Catalunya to investigate the problem of flooding in the municipality.
04: The festive atmosphere returned to the streets of Duanes, thanks to the Commission of the Festes de la Mare de Déu de Loreto and its ‘Mig Any Baret dels Bous‘. The temporary bar filled the Paseo de Jaime I with celebration, joy and companionship, all accompanied by good weather that invited everyone to leave the house after several weeks without seeing the sun.
06: Xàbia Council will be replacing the artificial grass surface of Les Mesquides football pitch after successfully applying for a grant from the Diputación de Alicante which has allocated funding to a specific provincial aid plan for municipal infrastructures to replace their current playing surfaces at the end of their useful life.
06: A thousand women participated in the XIV Non-Competitive Cursa de la Dona, raising more than 4.700 euros for charity. A great yellow tide ran through the urban centres of the Centro Histórico y Aduanas del Mar, making the xabiera woman visible in this great day.
06: The auditorium fiasco continued to drag out as the project entered another new legal mess after the contract with Valencian architects San Juan Arquitectura S.L., which drafted the final design of the long-awaited municipal infrastructure, was to be considered by the Legal Advisory Council of the Comunidad Valenciana (CJCCV).
07: Xàbia Council has admitted that it “does not see any possibility” of creating a dedicated space on the coast of the municipality so that pet owners can enjoy bathing with their pets.
Related Link: A dedicated beach for dogs is “not possible” in Xàbia
11: During the last plenary session of the local council and subsequent revelation in Levante-EMV, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Climate Emergency has opened a very serious infraction file against Xàbia Council over the Ramblars fire.
Related Link: Valencian government sanctions Xàbia for Ramblars fire
12: It was reported that a minimum of 65 families had arrived in Xàbia fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it was a minimum, because they are the ones that have contacted the Department of Social Services in the municipality.
Related Link: At least 65 families have arrived in Xàbia from Ukraine
12: This week, graffiti appeared in various spaces of the historic centre of Xàbia, both municipal and private. Mayor José Chulvi expressed his disgust on his FB profile: “This week -again- we are embarrassed by the tags of those who never tire of expressing their childish egocentricity in public or private spaces”.
Related Link: Graffiti appears across the historic centre of Xàbia
19: The government team in Xàbia was forced to defend itself in a statement against accusations by local police unions of “delaying” the solution to fix the “deficiencies and anomalies” that exist in the local police force in the town.
19: The residents of the La Crehueta urbanisation block in the Arenal sent the council a letter on April 5th in which they urged the Urban Planning Department to inform them about the latest situation of a file that was opened in 2019 against the owner of one of the premises on the beach promenade who had built a hut on top of it.
20: Seven hospitality businesses in the Arenal were required to close, lacking proper licensing. According to Levante-EMV, the affected businesses are Achill, Acqua, Atalaya, Bambula, Baltasar, Botánico and Salt, and the local council confirmed that their closure, which was demanded by the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency after a lengthy investigation, was “due to the lack of a mandatory opening licence”
22: The technicians of the General Directorate of Heritage rejected a request approved by the plenary session of Xàbia Council in 2018 to declare the “Pasodoble Xàbia“ by Salvador Salvá Sapena as an Intangible Asset of Local Relevance (BIE).
22: It was reported that the local council would be voting at its next plenary session to enable a parking fee during the summer months in the surroundings of the popular coves of Portitxol-Barraca and Granadella.
23: As the devoted gathered around the fortress-church of San Bartolomé in the heart of the historic centre, rockets could be heard exploding in the distance, the loud retort echoing around the wide bay, heralding the start of a very precious weekend for the people of Xàbia.
25: Xàbia Council released a statement to assure both residents and holidaymakers that the waters of the Arenal beach were perfectly safe and open to bathing after news spread that a break in an underwater outfall had been detected which had forced the authorities to close part of the popular beach area.
25: The Oceanogràfic Foundation has presented ‘Project Posidònia‘ which aims to identify and enhance the meadows of Posidonia underwater seagrass and marine biodiversity in three areas located along the coast of the Marina Alta, funded by the ‘Mediterranean Fund’ of Banca March.
28: Council staff have been considering a request from construction company Contratas Vilar, currently building the long-awaited municipal swimming pool, for another 827,788 euros to complete the project.
29: Xàbia Council approved a series of measures aimed at improving the environmental protection along the coast, of which one was that it would be implementing “smoke-free beaches” to adhere to the regional network that promotes the creation of healthy spaces for citizens, protected from the harmful effects of tobacco and the waste that smoking generates.
Related Link: Xàbia Council votes to ban smoking on all its beaches
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