Looters Target Acinipo Roman Ruins

Acinipo is one of the most precious historical sites in the Serranía de Ronda, a fact not lost on thieves who have been using sophisticated metal detectors to discover coins and fragments of other metal objects.

Over 400 holes have been dug, described by the Friends of Acinipo Association as blatant vandalism and theft of public property. The thieves have cut numerous holes in the fence surrounding Acinipo of the last month and a half, causing thousands of Euros damage to the enclosures.

With shovels and hoes, the thieves are digging holes wherever they detect metal, with complete disregard for stone foundations they encounter. This type of brazen vandalism is impossible assess how much damage is being caused since Acinipo is a working archeological dig with much yet to be discovered about the city.

Manual Garcia, Provincial Delegate for Culture yesterday met with senior representatives of the various local police agencies to demand increased night time patrols of the area, and the apprehension of those responsible.

Aside from damage to the fences, it’s estimated several hundred coins and other relics would have been stolen, with a conservative value in the tens of thousands of Euros not including the value to Ronda of their cultural loss.

Acinipo is a ruined Roman city located at around 15 minutes north of Ronda, and from the 1st century BC to the end of the 5th century AD was one of Roman Iberia’s most important cities. By Imperial decree, Acinipo was entitled to mint it’s own coins, thousands of which are believed to still be buried under the ruins.

Ronda News: Ring road to create 327 new jobs

In Ronda news, 327 jobs are to be created in Ronda over the coming months as work on the ring road and a new Arriate bypass begins, with a budgeted 18.5 million Euros allocated.

The economic recession in Spain has hit particularly hard in Ronda with tourism numbers down across the board, and the total collapse of the construction industry hampering efforts  to recover. An additional 327 jobs in this climate, 70% of them direct on the project, and the remaining 30% from indirect employment related to the construction work is certainly a major development.

Funding is being provided by Plan Zapatero, an economic stimulus program created by the national government to infrastructure projects going and dampen the blow to the economy with record unemployment of 22% nationally. Ronda’s ring road works are being coordinated by the province of Málaga Public Works and Transport Delegation.

All three of Ronda’s main road entrances are to receive work, with construction at the A-397 San Pedro road, and A-374 Sevilla road already started, and preparation work on the Campillos roundabout underway. The Arriate bypass planning has been finalised with construction to begin later this year.

Construction involves;

A-397 access near the new Ronda hospital at the beginning of the A-397 to San Pedro. As traffic increases with the ongoing construction and then opening of the hospital, traffic delays could be expected. An 80m bridge is being built and an overpass constructed for traffic going to and from San Pedro, this should free up the roundabout for local traffic.

A-374 overpass at La Dehesa to remove an accident blackspot as traffic leaving Ronda has to cross the busy ring road, instead traffic will filter into the stream as is normal on most highways.

A-366 and A-367 underpass to be built for traffic coming from A-374 entering Ronda on Avenida de Málaga, which will allow free movement of traffic from the Campillos/Arriate direction into Ronda.

MA-7403 to A-367 Bypass of 6km from Puerto del Monte directly to the A-367 Ardales road, which will remove through traffic from Arriate village, making the drive to Los Prados and Setenil quicker. People in Arriate have been complaining about traffic congestion for years, especially at a section of Calle del Carril which isn’t wide enough for traffic to pass.

Announcing the funding and approval of construction, Dolores Fernández, the delegate from the provincial council stated that the creation of 327 new jobs in and around Ronda should give a valuable boost to the local economy, and at the same time improve transport communication between Ronda an the villages of the Serranía, as well as making the drive safer.

Local environmentalists have criticised aspects of the development, particularly at La Dehesa where several thousand pine trees from the Parque Dehesa del Mercadillo have been felled to make way for the overpass and access on the A-374. Fernández has given assurances that 14,000 new trees will be planted after construction is complete, however she refused to be drawn on plans to purchase land in the immediate vicinity of the park.

Concern is mounting amongst environmentalists that the planting of replacement trees will be swept under the rug, and that petty politics between local and provincial governments will intervene resulting in the trees never being replaced. A petition is being organised by Ecologists in Action to demand public consultation on the replanting of trees.

Ronda’s mayor, Antonio Marín Lara has appealed to the people of Ronda and surrounding villages to be patient as work gets underway, with construction not expected to be finished before 2013. He commented that 24,000 vehicles per day use the ring road, and that the benefits to Ronda of improving the local economy far outweigh the short term inconvenience and loss of a small number of pine trees which will anyway be replaced with trees endemic to the area.

PP selects Fernandez as mayoral candidate

Ronda’s Partido Popular (PP) yesterday affirmed their current spokesperson, Mari Paz Fernandez will lead the party for the 2011 municipal elections, meaning if the PP attain a majority, Ms Fernandez will be the next mayor of Ronda.

In recent months infighting within the PP had suggested there was some doubt Fernandez would be confirmed with traditionalists in the party favouring a break with the current leadership, and amid rumours Fernandez herself did not want the job.

The provincial president of the PP in Málaga, Elias Bendodo, when announcing Fernandez as mayoral candidate made clear there was no room for internal politics and that the provincial delegation expected Ronda’s activists to pull together behind Fernandez and the team she builds.

In a side swipe at the PSOE, Bendodo questioned whether the PSOE would select current mayor Marín Lara to lead the socialists, and hinted he thought a back room deal would see the mayor dumped in favour of long time PSOE activists.

In a recent Sigma Dos poll, the Partido Popular is projected to take 7 or 8 seats in the next council, and whilst lower than the PSOE, could see the PP govern in coalition with the Partido Andalucista (PA), possibly on similar terms to the last time the PP were in government.

During the last PP government in Ronda, the coalition agreed that for two of the four years between elections the PP would govern, and a similar deal with the PA in 2011 would see Fernandez and Isabel Barriga of the PA share the post of mayor for two years each.

Ronda to get Viticulture Centre of Training

Last week the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and representatives from the Ronda city council signed an agreement to create a centre of wine development in the city, one of just 43 lighthouse projects being planned around Spain.

Valued at 2.5 million Euros the project will see Ronda become home to a centre of training and wine development, cementing the developing status of Ronda wines as important to wine production in Spain, and adding to the nations export potential.

The old water tower in the industrial area of Ronda has been chosen to be redeveloped and would include an experimental wine tasting area, laboratory analysis, multimedia centre, and training for viticulturists. The centre is expected to be operational by the end of 2011.

Choosing the old water tower is seen as positive and would prevent decay of the architecturally impressive building which has been described as having historical interest, and with an area of 1285 sqm is certainly large enough, though is in an unusual location.

Source within the council suggest the location may not be completely suitable and by the time the project is eventually finalised may be relocated out of Ronda into the surrounding district.

Ronda councillors subject to more transparency

The monthly council meeting in Ronda finally approved a significant and surprising anti-corruption measure that will see the personal financial affairs of all councillors and their spouses made available on the city council website www.ronda.es.

Aiming to exceed national transparency laws and prove to the people of Ronda that the council is committed to transparency, all parties represented in council unanimously approved the motion with the exception of the Izquierda Unida (IU) representative who didn’t attend for personal reasons.

The PSOE spokesperson Francesco Cañestro stated this move is in accordance with an agreement reached at the PSOE regional congress, though residents shouldn’t be too excited about getting to know all of their councillors private lives. The vote only provides for publicly available information to be published on the council website.

Ronda’s mayor Antonio Marín Lara described the motion as a triumph for the people of Ronda, and said the aim is to make publicly available information easy to access from a single page instead of requiring multiple visits to official offices.

The Partido Popular’s (PP) whilst voting in favour of the motion also warned that this measure may have a double purpose. Spokesperson Mari Paz Fernandez hoped the motion wouldn’t be used against councillors, citing a current investigation against the IU for irregular donations to the party as cause for concern.

Ronda tourism gets accessibility, and a film festival

Ronda was recently represented at an international travel exposition, la Feria Internacional de Turismo (Fitur) in Madrid by the mayor Antonio Marín Lara and councillor for tourism Maribel Morales along with Alfredo Carrasco of CIT, and a small group of officials from the office of tourism and local business people.

Invited to participate by the Costa del Sol Tourism Board, Ronda representated the entire Serranía, including local villages such as Benaojan, Gaucín, Setenil, Grazalema, and displayed information about the three natural parks surrounding the Serranía.

The Serranía de Ronda is often under-represented within the travel industry, and is considered by many travel operators to be an inland Costa del Sol daytrip, a mindset the official tourism offices in Ronda are keen to dispel.

Major projects announced at this years Fitur were the accessibility of Ronda program, and further strengthening of the twinning relationship with the city of Cuenca in Castilla-La Mancha.

Over the next few months significants parts of the main tourist walk in Ronda, including streets in the old town, will be upgraded to make it convenient for people with limited mobility to enjoy the sites of Ronda. Unfortunately the cost and difficulty of making monuments such as the Mondragon Palace accessible isn’t possible.

However Ronda Today has learned the Arab Baths will soon be accessible to people in wheelchairs, a major step forward (pardon the pun) given the significance of Ronda’s Arab Baths in Western Europe. As well, the historically important Acinipo ruined city will soon also be more accessible to people of limited mobility.

Ronda’s twinning with Cuenca is to receive a major boost under an EU program. 300,000€ of European money has been allocated to encourage closer working between Ronda and Cuenca which both share a similar topology with an older city, gorge, and hanging houses.

Expertise in attracting tourists to Ronda will be studied by officials from Cuenca, a program Ronda tourism hopes they will be able to export to other cities.

At Fitur, Ronda’s mayor Marín Lara also announced the creation of a new film festival, the political film festival of Ronda, to be held annually in the city and will be a grade two festival, equivalent to the Berlin Film Festival.

This marks a significant development in the media industry in Ronda, which is also home to the Business Media School. Ronda’s political film festival in 2010 is scheduled to run from 27th November to 4th December, and has the financial backing of the Ministry of Culture in Madrid.

Ronda – Tourist Information – Hotel booking – Activities – Events in Ronda and Surrounding Villages. Telephone 0034 681 14 70 24

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.