The state of some of the Costa's promenades on 5 April after being battered by storms.

Government and Junta at loggerheads over Costa del Sol beach repairs after strategy described as 'joke'

Next week the Coastal Authority will start works costing 2.1 million euros in the 14 towns in Malaga province which suffered the worst damage during the recent storms

Eugenio Cabezas

The government is planning to start the emergency works to stabilise some of the beaches on the Costa del Sol next week, after the damage caused by the storms earlier this month. Javier Salas, the government delegate in the province, said yesterday, 21 April, that the amount being invested is the third-highest in the past decade and that the works have been agreed and coordinated between the Coastal Authority and the councils. However, the subject has caused conflict between the government and the Junta de Andalucía.

Salas said the mayors, especially those of Estepona, Marbella and Rincón de la Victoria, had expressed their satisfaction about the Strategy for the Protection of the Costa del Sol, and so had the Junta’s general director for Environmental Quality and Climate Change, María López Sánchís.

“That is why the comments from the Junta’s delegate in Malaga, Patrica Navarro, are especially regrettable,” he said, “disparaging this work when it is supported by the mayors, the Junta itself and many others such as ecologists, water management companies, the owners of beach businesses and hotels”.

Strategy described as a 'joke'

Javier Salas insisted that the document had been drawn up in consultation with scientists and experts from universities and other organisations, but on a visit to Torrox, Patricia Navarro criticised the lack of interest shown so far in combating the erosion of the Ferrara beach. She called on the government to specify the actions it planned to take and the timescale for them to be completed, and she described the strategy presented by the Ministry for Ecological Transition as a joke.

In response, Javier Salas said the Junta de Andalucía should get more involved with the municipalities whose beaches have been damaged by the storm. He accused it of failing to plan any specific action itself and said it “only talks about a line of funding, and an amount which is insignificant for the nearly 800 places in Andalucía which suffered damage last year and this year”.