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The gap between Malaga and fills the empty

MORE INFORMATION The road of darkness 26-3-11 Benahavís, the village more discreet of the coast Malaga, the economic engine of Andalusia, roars with intensity.

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The gap between Malaga and fills the empty
MORE INFORMATION The road of darkness 26-3-11 Benahavís, the village more discreet of the coast

Malaga, the economic engine of Andalusia, roars with intensity. Tourists will no longer go directly from the airport to Marbella or other towns on the Costa del Sol, but reserve a few days to the capital, where new museums like the Pompidou, the Russian Art and the Carmen Thyssen follow the trail opened by the Picasso Museum, which in October was 15 years old. The city broke a new milestone in 2017, with more than 1.3 million passengers and 2.4 million overnight stays, according to the city Council. But despite the fact that the capital has become fashionable, their problems —and those of the province— remain virtually the same over the past 30 years, with a few more, unknown until now.

To the eternal challenges of the lack of comprehensive sanitation of their wastewater, the non-existent rail connection with Marbella and Estepona, or the saturation urban waterfront with a deficit of hospital beds and places of education, is joined by other new as well as the impact on the price of the home by the holiday rental platforms such as Airbnb. In addition, the economic and social differences between the coast and the interior does not stop getting bigger. “And the gap is going to go more by the tendency of our society to accentuate the inequalities,” predicts Mary Louise Gomez, professor of regional geographical analysis at the University of Malaga.

The 170 kilometers of coastline ranging from Nerja in the east to Manilva, on the border with Cadiz the population is concentrated, the work and the wealth, though spread unevenly. In this band live a million registered, of the 1.6 billion the province. In high season, the population can triple. As a counterpart, 63 of the 103 municipalities of málaga, essentially interior, have lost population in the last ten years. Towns of the comarca of the Axarquia (eastern zone) or Round (in the northwest) are currently dominating the top ten positions, with descents which come to graze the 30%. Antequera (in the north) is also very affected.

Mar Villanueva, second from left, next to other mothers of the platform of parents who are demanding the completion of the work of an institute in Teatinos. García-Santos



The people most affected do equilibrismos in the form of job rotating, checks baby grants or dining child care so that their schools do not lose children. All to avoid a downward spiral that triggered the closure of the centre, banks or shops. Their mayors, of different parties, to call for the authorities to make a common front to tackle the problem.

“agricultural subsidies, road connections and the proximity of facilities such as county Casino Siteleri hospitals, are containing this self-emptying,” says professor Gomez, who recalled that already in the sixties and seventies also saw a shift towards the coast with a population loss of over 50% in 15 years.

From the political point of view, Malaga is also divided into coast and inland. The main cities of the coast have a majority of voters of the Popular Party, with a vote more conservative, while in the interior, usually succeed the socialist party.

In areas of expansion of the city of malaga, as Teatinos, re-listen, concrete mixers, and hydraulic hammers in solar in ten years ago did not move nor a leaf. Their neighbors, like that of other populations of the metropolitan area as Rincon de la Victoria or Cartama, fighting for the Junta de Andalucía to finish a school and two institutes and their 700 children no longer receiving classes in booths work."We have been asking the institute since the 99," laments Mar Villanueva, spokesperson of the Platform Promise of Teatinos, next to the work of the center. This group of parents has 120 students of Secondary Education studying in barracks and other 180 giving classes since the start of this course in a students ' residence in which they use the tv rooms as classrooms. In the Board argue that "in a few months" will have classrooms final. The group met on Friday with the candidate in Malaga Andalucia Forward to the regional elections of the next 2-D, and on Monday he will do so with the Citizens.

The boom of tourist apartments has engulfed entire buildings of downtown and slums on the coast Pedregalejo or El Palo. "My landlord told me that I raised the price and I thought I'd leave, but when I saw what's in there, I've negotiated a raise in two years," says a neighbor who resists for rent in a block made by travellers. There are people without a home because they are employed in host to tourists, a business much more lucrative than long term rentals. 870 people at risk of exclusion have a municipal grant to the rent of 550 euros, granted, but there are apartments for those prices. The capital concentrates 4,000 of the 25,000 dwellings for tourist use recorded in Málaga.

Canillas de Aceituno, in the high Axarquía, 50 kilometres from the capital, is the most extreme case of loss of population, has fallen 28% in a decade. Its per capita income (13.043 euros) is at the last positions of a list that leads the discreet Benahavís (29.410 euros), a resident of Marbella. The unemployment rate of Canillas has been around 20% in the last four years. Benahavis, territory of luxury housing developments such as La Zagaleta, the unemployment rate has been 7%.

With an agriculture inner rainfed abandoned and a real estate bubble that ended with more than 10,000 illegal houses in the Axarquia region, the crisis left Canillas, as well as the municipalities of his surroundings, no plan b. Options its 1,800-neighbors are the little construction that is down to work at the warehouses agricultural mango and avocado Velez Malaga. “There is no room here to set up plants,” says Vincent Fields, mayor (PP). In the city Council trying to create jobs linked to the tourism of interior. Have the natural park of the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama, very close and the climb more hard to The Maroma, the highest peak of the province (2.069 metres of altitude), in addition to the catwalk of The Saltillo, renamed as the Caminito of la Axarquía, in contrast to the Caminito del Rey, one of the main magnets of tourism of the province, reopened in 2015. “Sometimes young people do not dare to take steps, to undertake,” laments the mayor.

In the Ronda, whose historical position is the construction of a highway to the coast, is located Cartajima, just 250 inhabitants located in the valley of the Genal. Its mayor, Francisco Benitez (PSOE) came to put an advertisement in the 2016 offering temporary employment and housing at low cost for families with children that would like to locate in the village. Their aim was not to close their rural school. Two years later, and 10,000 requests using, has managed to keep it open. Has eight students. "We are fortunate that the town is 55 kilometers away from Marbella. Communications are not the best, but if we compare with a municipality of Castilla y Leon win-win”, provides for Benitez. Among the neighbors of Cartajima there are many immigrants returning from Paris or Marseille –“it is a rare family in which there is not one”- and also those who maintain a home for weekends or holidays. Not all who became tempted by the offer of employment ended up being integrated.

“the trip to The interior has a back and forth”, said Damian Ruiz Sinoga, professor of Physical Geography at the UMA. “During the crisis also became a sort of refuge”, detailed in a conversation in which he speaks of “commuting” for the families of the comarca of Antequera or Ronda are coming and going every weekend, or with a certain frequency to their homes in the towns of the interior. “So, not the end, of losing the connection from a sociological standpoint,” he adds.

Ruiz Sinoga recognizes joy because the construction is woken up on the coast but poses a reflection. "I don't see that we are creating a new expectation. We have turned to tourism and now appear crane, but, on the other hand, we have not unhooked that feeling of vulnerability. In the climate change scenarios the situation will get worse in some areas. We depend on that people want to come, and of the same that we had 50 years ago, that is the sun and the beach,” he recalls.

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