Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán
May, 2023 |
Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.
UD Las Palmas Celebrate Return to La Liga First Division in Grand Style after Gran Canaria Stadium Goalless Draw with Alavés
May, 2023 |
UD Las Palmas made a glorious comeback to the First Division in a thrilling encounter against Deportivo Alavés that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle. In front of a raucous near-capacity-crowd of 31,790, Las Palmas sealed their return ticket to the top flight with a hard-fought goalless draw in the season’s photo finish.
The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023
May, 2023 |
What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market
Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria
May, 2023 |
The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.
The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023
May, 2023 |
An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.
Coastal Authority postpones Anfi signing the nullified concession on Tauro beach, awaiting TSJC High Court conclusions
The “Costas”, Coastal Authority, Demarcation of Coasts Las Palmas, have postponed their planned final act in the recovery to the Spanish State of the controversial Tauro beach, which was scheduled for today with the planned signing over of the land, and the nullification of the concession awarded to Anfi Tauro, following an order from the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC – Canary Islands High Court) who are looking into precautionary measures requested by Anfi Tauro, the company responsible for the artificial beach since 2015. The operation was to be a formal act between the Costas and Anfi Tauro, initially scheduled for May 12, in order to comply with the final 2020 cancellation of the concession and to sign the deed of reversion and delivery of the concession for the maritime public domain lands. The Costas will now wait for the Canary Islands high court to study and resolve the precautionary measures requested by the timeshare company, as they attempt to recover the beach, and for the exploitation of the cove to return to the State once the matter has been resolved.
Rafael Lopez Orive head of the Costas Image: ALEJANDRO RAMOS
Head of the Las Palmas Coastal Demarcation, Rafael López Orive, said on Tuesday that he would not be attending this event today, while waiting to hear the decisions of the TSJC. As the regional representative of this state institution, he had postponed the signing of the reversion of the concession until today, while awaiting the results of a detailed report on the condition of the sea floor, after Anfi and Santana Cazorla deposited 70,000 cubic meters of sand brought from the disputed territory of Western Sahara back in 2016. Anfi Tauro declined yesterday to make any further statements, referring only to the precautionary measures they have requested from the Regional High Courts.
The TSJC’s order comes after Anfi Tauro filed a contentious-administrative appeal against the office of the Demarcation of the Coasts in Las Palmas, on April 12, 2021, in which the Costas summoned the company to sign the act of reversal, to formally recognise the return of 11,200 square meters of maritime domain public land to the Spanish State. The concession was originally granted by Ministerial Order on October 1, 2015 to “regenerate Tauro beach and exploit seasonal services, hammocks and umbrellas”. However controversy soon followed with the beach having been officially closed to the public since February 2016.
On appeal, Anfi Tauro claimed the necessity for an “urgent precautionary suspension” of the execution of the Costas intentions, but the TSJC has denied that request as it did not appreciate any reasons for such urgency. “Although it is intended to protect the same in the peremptory nature of the period indicated for the act of reversion to take place – set for May 12, 2021 -, the truth is that the interested party was notified of said act on April 12, 2021″ pointing out that the urgency was not claimed by the company until after they were summoned to the signing, though the order was well known prior to that.
Consequently, the court will process precautionary measures by ordinary means and based on article 131 of the Law of Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction and the interested parties may not request any further measure again under the that article of law. Anfi are either seeking a reversal of the decision or some form of compensation, as they claim to have already spent €2m on the unfinished reconditioning and “improvement” of the beach.
Once the reversion act has been signed, the right to exploitation on Tauro beach will return to the State, and its reopening to the public, after more than five years closed, will then be the responsibility of Mogán Town Council, who had previously requested the concession for seasonal services from the Costas. Mogán will then need to initiate the procedures to put into operation life guard surveillance and first aid services. Something the local mayor has since suggested may need to wait until the removal of a breakwater illegally placed on the shoreline, despite not being included in the Anfi license.
Until 2016 the beach was a pebbled cove, and a partially protected environment, onto which the Anfi Tauro group, working with Grupo Santana Cazorla, deposited 70,000 cubic meters of sand, extracted from the disputed territory of Western Sahara (in contravention of UN guidance on disputed territories) placing it onto the beach in preparation for exploitation and operation of seasonal services and other businesses that were to be installed at the site as part of a much bigger project. The sand was recently discovered to be covering an outlet pipe from Anfi Tauro’s desalination plant which has been spilling brine under the sand the whole time.
Brine outlet from desalination plant on Tauro Beach, Gran Canaria
Shifting Sandcastles in the Sky: Spanish Supreme Court upholds the cancellation of the Tauro Beach coastal territorial plan on Gran Canaria
More Tauro controversy as “bullying” heavies deployed by Anfi to tear down shanty homes
Jul, 2018 | Crime, investigation, Mogán, News
Apparently it is now perfectly acceptable on Gran Canaria to fly in a private “security” outfit to intimidate people out of their homes before you knock them down without due process or oversight.
The luxury timeshare holiday club Anfi have, it seems, contracted a controversial “security” organisation to enforce demolition of shanty homes located on its land on the Tauro coast, despite there being no court judgement or any other hearings that would appear to have permitted such an action against private individuals in their homes, and where it still seems the company have plans to install a sports marina as well as complementary services, for the artificial beach it built two years ago with sand taken out of Western Sahara without any properly recognised permissions, despite work having been stopped there by a court order since 2016 following a Guardia Civil investigation.
According to reports a total of somewhere between 11 and 15 huts and shacks near the coastline have suddenly disappeared since Thursday, with occupants claiming that some of these were used as their primary and only residence. It is thought that several occupants had been living there for some years already.
Anfi Tauro, the promoter of the beleaguered Tauro Beach tourist development, have confirmed the demolition of 13, what they called, “sub-houses” and said that these were all on property legally owned by the company and without any authorisation. However, they avoided giving any more details about this latest addition to a series of controversial actions along that stretch of the coast of Mogán.
Ms Onalia Bueno, mayor of the southern municipality, explained that the Town Council has not had any participation in the demolitions but also asserted that it is private land. These 13 shacks, according to Bueno, had appeared in recent months, following the total paralysis of the beach development. Therefore, they could not be seen as part of the old town of Tauro, where some old warehouses and houses, built many years ago, still stand. Despite this, it is in no way clear how long the dwellings had existed or indeed how many individuals or families occupied them.
Herminio Acosta, president of the Tauro Neighbours Association, criticised the evictions having been carried out without previously notifying the occupants and “through intimidation.” The demolition machines came accompanied by a group of men who “acted like bodyguards”, wearing Tshirts displaying the logo Desokupa.
Desokupa are a highly criticised organisation reportedly staffed by body builders, boxers and mixed martial artists, some of whom have alleged links to far right groups in Spain. They first hit the headlines in 2016 for using unsavoury tactics, and operating within grey areas of the legal limits of the law, to essentially intimidate unwanted tenants out of their homes, in exchange for being paid large sums of money by landlords and property owners with whom the tenants were in dispute in the Barcelona area. Founded by an ex boxer, Daniel Esteve, who has spent more than 20 years working in the security industry, their tried and tested tactic is to show up unannounced with several burly, well built, threatening looking men and suggest that the tenant might want to chose to leave before anything else happens. They claim a more than 95% success rate, with many of their “jobs” resolved within 1 hour! For this service they charge many thousands of Euros, and in this case seemingly in the contractual employ of the Santana-Cazorla owned Anfi business, in partnership with hoteliers Lopesan, who just two years ago bought half the overall business from the family of Anfi’s founder Bjorn Lyng.
John Meykel – Tauro Beach demolished shack
“The company has managed to relocate the people who lived there and we have found money for them. Many people have attacked us for removing the shacks, but the town hall had a demolition permit because the land is private.”a Desokupa manager told Spanish language daily Canarias 7 after controversy arose due to people who opposed the evictions “We are a legal company, which carries out all work in a peaceful orderly manner. We appreciate the support of the Guardia Civil and the local police during our work in the south of Gran Canaria”.
The Tauro Neighbours Association argue that at least one of the occupants of the demolished houses was properly registered in it, possibly having lived there for years, and had grave doubts that these lands are private, because, in his opinion, they are in the bed of a public ravine. Acosta added that the people who carried out the demolition threateningly announced that further demolitions will continue next week.
Daniel Esteve Martinez Linkedin image
Progressive Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, has publicly stated that the city council has denounced Daniel Esteve, due to – according to the mayor – “his violent practices” that she has described as “bullying”. To add to the controversy surrounding this fighter turned fight promoter and specialist in house evictions, a video emerged apparently shot by one of the Desokupa thugs, with the company founder Esteve himself saying to camera “You have been warned, Desokupa is not to be played with, your shacks or we’ll take or your ass” seconds before a demolition excavator rips into one of the shanty dwellings on the beach.
The Tauro Residents Association say “We do not think it’s acceptable to use these intimidating methods that seek to frighten, saying they’ll be back, shacks out,”
Tauro Beach has been “officially closed” to the public since 2016
Tauro beach has been ‘officially closed’ to bathers for two years. despite the fact that bathers can be seen there daily enjoying the illegally imported pristine sands. The Ministry for the Environment paralysed the development works of the company Anfi Tauro back in 2016 due to alleged irregularities in the execution of the project, which led to the immediate dismissal of the then head of the Demarcation of Coasts of the Canary Islands, José María Hernández de León. The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Las Palmas opened a trial against Hernández for the alleged crimes of falsehoods in an official document and administrative prevarication in allowing the works on Tauro beach to go ahead, despite certain legally binding restrictions being in place, including a requirement for Anfi to produce documentary evidence that they had ownership or express permissions over the lands they planned to develop, they could not produce proof of ownership, yet Hernández de León green lighted their project anyway, and then allegedly tried to falsify the record when he was reported by an engineer who refused to sign off the project. Now prosecutors are demanding a penalty of three and a half years in prison and 10 years disqualification from the exercise of employment or public office.
© 45photos.com Tauro Beach 2014, when it was little more than a quiet pebble cove enjoyed by locals, long before the real controversies began
Meanwhile, the Tauro beach project has been crippled, with moves being made to try and remove Anfi as the preferred concession holder for the development. It seems Anfi may well have other ideas, and they may have brought in a little private army to prepare the ground… we will keep you posted as we hear more.
Are we really going to allow unsavoury meat head muscle-marys to be flown in to force evict families from shacks, in order to protect the projects of multimillionaire developers? Is this mayor of Mogán really sure that those shanty homes are as recent as she claims? Did the town hall really know nothing about this exercise? Where is the due process?
Are we going to vote for people who care about any of these things? You need to register to vote before the end of this year…