Fuerteventura News Summary May 2018

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Pajara loses all its Blue Flags

The municipality of Pajara no longer has any blue flag beaches, following the decision by the local council to stop submitting its beaches for consideration. The Matorral and Morro Jable beaches lost their Blue Flag status in 2017, and this year, Butihondo also lost its blue flag status. The dispute arose because Pajara council refused to install marker buoys that prevent fishing boats and other vessels from entering the same area used by bathers, claiming that this would impede an area traditionally used by local fishermen to collect bait. The local councillor responsible for beaches has stated that the beaches still meet the blue flag criteria with the exception of the marker buoys. Opposition groups have criticised the decision and questioned the council’s use of more than 3 Million Euros that it collects from beach sun loungers and umbrellas.

Wonder Woman 2 to be filmed in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura’s success at attracting major Hollywood movie productions is set to continue following the announcement that Wonder Woman 2 will be shot on the island at the end of next summer. The island has attracted several mega-productions in recent years, including Allied, Exodus: Gods and Kings and Han Solo. According to the president of the Fuerteventura Cabildo, these productions have added more than 40 Million Euros to the local economy in recent years.

New Draft of Tourist Letting Law

The Canarian Government has published a draft of its proposed regulation of tourist lets in the islands. Despite a court ruling against the previous set of regulations, the new regulations again prohibit letting properties to tourists in tourist areas. The new proposals would, however, allow local councils to create exceptions. The subject of private holiday lets has become very controversial of late due to a chronic shortage of long-lets and accompanying surge in rental prices in areas such as Corralejo – where local workers are often forced out of the market. A recent study by La Oliva council revealed that out of some 2000 holiday lets advertised on the internet, only 900 were legal.

€5,600 charged for giving birth

A foreign woman was charged a total of €5,600 by the Canarian Health Service for giving birth and post-natal care. Although the law provides for free pregnancy care for non-registered foreigners in Spain, in this case, the woman was legally in Spain, and therefore liable for the fees. The woman in this case first visited the public health centre in Corralejo, but was later referred to the General Hospital. Foreigners have no right to free health care from the Social Security system during their first 90 days stay in Spain, and should have private insurance cover or an EHIC card.

Corralejo Port Expansion

Following the failure to attract private funding for the Corralejo port enlargement, 15 million euros of public money will now be used to fund the first stage of the expansion. The development of the port will permit the docking of large cruise ships, however the plan to facilitate the berthing of mega-yachts has now been deferred to a possible second phase, which would require public-private investment. The project will be put out to tender later this year.

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