The mayor of Benalmádena, Víctor Navas, has offered a conference to request Turismo Andaluz, and Turismo y Planificación Costa del Sol “to face up to the fake news launched by the British tabloids in relation to the expansion works of the levee exempt from Malapesquera”.
The coastal stabilization actions require delimiting some 500 meters of the nine kilometers of Benalmádena beaches until June, but all the Benalmadena beaches “will remain fully open to the public during the next Holy Week, because the bulk of the work will take place after these dates, with the idea that they end around the end of June”, he clarified to the mayor.
Navas stated that “we are sensitive to the demands of the city’s productive fabric: we understand that the action may cause some alarm in the face of international tourist markets, but there are a number of fake news poured out by certain British media, which talk about a general closure of all the beaches of Benalmádena, a totally false fact”.
In this sense, he defended that “both Andalusian Tourism and Costa del Sol Tourism and Planning would have to deny these fake news and explain the reality of the facts: this action will mean an improvement of the beaches, it will affect only 500 meters of the 9 kilometers of the Benalmaden coast, it will last only two months and it will guarantee the protection and stability of the coastline for a period of 30 years”.
“Both institutions have the power to defend the brand image of the Costa del Sol, and therefore of Benalmádena, and for this reason we ask them to fulfill their obligation to deny these erroneous information that appeared in the British media,” Navas stressed.
The mayor also pointed out the importance of “the hotel sector itself not generating alarmism, because it does not help if we want to offer an image of solvency as a tourist destination.”
Postponement of works
The mayor has insisted that the municipal government “defends and demands a postponement of the start of the works until next autumn, but we depend on the Environment Department of the Junta de Andalucía, in its technical studies for the environmental impact report of this work, lift the biological shutdown that prohibits developing work in the area between July 15 and December 15 to guarantee the protection of a marine species at risk of extinction”.
In this sense, he qualified that “if the Junta de Andalucía lifts this biological shutdown, we will be able to postpone the start of the works to develop them in autumn, before the end of 2023, the limit to conclude the works because their execution depends on European funds Next Generation, so postponing them beyond December 31 would jeopardize this investment.”
On the other hand, the mayor has regretted “what happened today in an information commission, in which the PP has been left alone defending the postponement of the works: among all the political forces we have valued the possibility of a joint motion in which we do not Let us only ask the Government to delay the start of the work, but also include a request to the Board to lift the biological shutdown (an essential condition to carry out the work in autumn without incurring an environmental crime), in addition to claiming Andalusian Tourism and Tourism Costa del Sol defending the brand image of Benalmádena in the British market”.
“The PP has been left alone, voting against including these two amendments to the motion, because they are limited to requesting the postponement of the works without further ado”, criticized the mayor.
For its part, the PP has issued a statement in which it shows its full support for the local hotel and commercial sector and in which “we demand that Víctor Navas reverse his mistake of closing our beaches to tourism in the best months for the sector”. Likewise, its spokesman, Juan Antonio Lara, announced that “we are going to lead all possible actions and demands with the aim that common sense prevail for once because the people of Benalmadena have to be clearer than ever that this leftist misrule is only right when he rectifies and listens and does what the main opposition party demands”.
In another order of affairs, the mayor has also called for “rigor and honesty from the productive fabric of the city: Aehcos recently estimated the losses that these works by Costas would bring to the hotel sector at 752 million euros, absolutely unrealistic figures since they include the total turnover of all the hotels in the city for a whole year”.
Navas has pointed out that “when I have requested economic impact and cancellation reports, it turns out that they have not yet prepared them, so we request them again so that we can compare this data.”
“I ask all the productive fabric and the rest of the political forces good sense and common sense to defend the general interest of Benalmádena above any other information”, concluded the first mayor.