Torrevieja Harbour Master

Concerns were raised this week over safety issues at Torrevieja harbour, after it was revealed that the harbour master left his post in November, and has not been replaced, leaving the port without any ground operational control. Although there is a computer controlled navigation system, many people are now questioning the risks, given the number of large ships that use the facilities for transporting bulk salt loads around the world, who mix in with much smaller leisure craft and even personal boats and sea-based pleasure crafts such as jet skis. The Sea Captain was also responsible for all ports along the coast, from Guardamar to Pilar de la Horidada, where some 3,000 pleasure boats are registered, mixed in with the 100 or so large ships that arrive to load salt throughout the year, as well as being responsible for the environmental aspects of pollution in addition to safety. It is not yet known if the Valencia ports authority intends to fill the vacancy or leave it uncovered throughout the summer months.

Torrevieja is seeing huge cuts in spending that may also be seen as risking the safety of beachgoers, despite Easter already being flooded with tourists, after City Council Budget constraints prevented the lifeguard services which will see a massive decrease in cover. Initially, the town hall has asked the Cruz Roja to provide 30 lifeguards on the coast during Easter, a reduction from the 38 of last year, but rising to 75 in summer. A reduction of around a third of the budget down to 520,000 euro will also see a shortening on the length of time that life saving services are provided.

The youth services of Torrevieja town hall have been running a course this week aimed to show young people how they can begin their job seeking journey on-line, via the internet. With unemployment so vast in the youth groups, this is seen as a welcome piece of assistance that could help to make the difference in their job seeking portfolio, by using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Young Socialists of La Mata have called for the library to be opened at weekends, to enable students to continue their studying during out of school time. The library has been closed since February at weekends and has also suffered a reduction in day time hours, offering just 4 hours opening in the morning and less than 3 hours in an afternoon. A spokesperson for the group said that, “The library hours of La Mata is another example of empty buildings policy and the lack of interest shown by the city council of the city’s periphery.”

Torrevieja Local Police are continuing their protest over the recent shift changes, which have once again left the streets of Torrevieja without any police patrols for half hour periods over a number of days. Officers have now started wearing pink ribbons to show their solidarity for the campaign to resolve the matter of shift patterns, so as to enable them to ensure the safety of the city.

The disappearance of a number of palm trees from roundabouts has been noticed this week, spanning the entire Vega Baja area, including Torrevieja, Orihuela, Almoradí and Catral, as action is once again being taken by the Valencian government to remove specimens of plants which have been infested with the dreaded Red Palm Weevil. A team with heavy plant machinery has been touring the area and will continue to do so until the issue is brought under control.

The Bank of Spain has warned the Anticorruption Prosecutor of the possibility of a large increase in money laundering from Russian investors, taking advantage of the Costa Blanca, trying to launder funds from Cyprus. Since the start of this year alone, some 5 billion euro has been transferred from Cypriot banks to Spain by citizens of the Russian Federation, half of which have now been rejected by the Spanish banks and are under investigation by the Anticorruption Prosecutor.

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