Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hotel Algarrobico. A Decision?

The issue of the Hotel Algarrobico was due to be resolved this past September. But, as usual and to nobody's surprise, it wasn't. It's an ugly building, erected on the coast (there wouldn't be much point on erecting it in the interior, now would there?). The hotel is twenty stories tall and has - or will have, or would have 411 rooms. It would, if ever opened, bring employment to Carboneras, the unattractive town nearby, famous for its dirty power station (far more ugly than the hotel) and its impossibly grand sports stadium which the town hall can't afford to open.
The hotel is just part of a larger projected urbanisation, with shops and restaurants and bars and souvenir shops, all aimed at amusing the tourists who would fill the Algarrobico from the day it was opened, back presumably in about 2008, if it hadn't have been stopped by an inconsiderate politician in far-off Madrid called Cristina Narbona, at the time, PSOE Minister for the Environment.
The hotel was almost finished when the order came through in 2006. The surrounding rock-face had been cut and shaped into space available for the satellite commercial centre and the main building was at the stage of putting in the interior work: 94% finished, says Spanish RTVE here. The builder, Azata del Sol, said and says that it had all the correct paperwork, the ecologists (such as Ecologistas en Acción, Greenpeace and the eccentric Salvemos Mojácar), who managed to halt the wretched thing, say that it is in a national park and can't be built.
As with the 300,000 'illegal homes' in Andalucía, nothing was said until the eleventh hour.
Now, years later, there is still no answer - or rather, there are too many court decisions, some for and some against. Whichever side wins, the Public will lose. If it's Azata, then they will claim massive damages to repair the site, ravaged by time and various attacks from vandals, ecologists and souvenir hunters. Furthermore, after all the excitement, would people want to stay there anyway? Maybe Azata doesn't want to win any more - so just pay them off their investment, plus lawyers, interest, loss of earnings and what have you. If the environmentalists win, then the entire site would need to be demolished and the whole area replaced, somehow, with an innocuous chunk of coastal cliff. How much would that cost? The price of a hospital or two, without doubt.
And, in a region with 35% unemployment, and little chance of alternative income beyond tourism, what about the job losses?
So, whoever gives the order can expect a short future in politics. Best just to change the subject, pass the buck, shrug and let the stupid thing continue to rot. 

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