Monday, 04 January 2016 20:51

Theme Park Wars: Shock Court Ruling Halts Gran Canaria Waterpark

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Siam Park project suspended by court judgement Siam Park project suspended by court judgement Frankie Napolux

Just when we thought that the Gran Canaria waterpark had overcome all obstacles, a court ruling provisionally suspends its license. 

What happened?

The ruling, by the Las Palmas based Juzgado de lo Contencioso Administrativo número 3, came in a case brought by a Las Palmas-based company called Lebensraum Wassers SL

The court said that it was provisionally suspending Loro Parque's license to develop the plot of land at El Veril because the way it received its license may be illegal. 

Lebensraum Wassers SL had argued that the way the license was granted didn't allow other companies to make alternative proposals for the area.

The court ruled that if Lebensraum Wassers SL was right and proved it in court after Siam Park was built, then the whole development would be illegal. It, therefore, decided to suspend the license.

Who are Lebensraum Wassers SL

Alex says: The La Provincia newspaper has now confirmed the link between Aspro Ocio (owners of Aqualand and Palmitos Park) and Lebensraum Wassers SL.

The company was formed in Las Palmas in 2013 but doesn't seem to have done much since other than object to the new water park. Its owners are unknown, but a comment by Gran Canaria president Antonio Morales gives us a hint. He said, "it is those that defend free markets that are benefiting

Its owners are unknown, but a comment by Gran Canaria president Antonio Morales gives us a hint. 

He said, "it is those that defend free markets that are benefitting from from the delay to this important Gran Canaria investment ... it is private business that does not accept market competition". He also said, "we all probably know who they are and who is behind them, but I'm not getting into that".

Given that there is only one large theme park company operating in Gran Canaria at present, the president's comments aren't hard to decipher. 

What happens now?

Both the Kiessling family, which own Loro Parque in Tenerife and plan to invest 60 million euros in the Gran Canaria water park, and the Gran Canaria authorities can appeal the court ruling at the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Canarias.

Given the overwhelming support for the Gran Canaria water park amongst Gran Canaria's politicians and business community, we'd expect a quick appeal.

It's hard to imagine that such a big project will be delayed for long by a legal technicality.

Read 6940 times Last modified on Friday, 08 January 2016 09:22
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  • Tip Of The Day: Avoid Bank Card Charges By Paying In Euros
    Tip Of The Day: Avoid Bank Card Charges By Paying In Euros

    Save money and avoid rip-off bank charges while in Gran Canaria by paying in euros when using your credit or debit card.

    Many bars and restaurants in Gran Canaria, and in almost all European holiday destinations, give you the option of paying in euros or in your home currency. Opting for your own currency, while it may seem like the safer option, can add as much as 5% to the bill as it triggers dynamic currency conversion. 

    DCC basically means that the exchange rate is calculated at point of sale rather than by your bank. It allows you to see the total cost of the transaction in your own currency but adds up to 5% to the total because it uses a terrible exchange rate. 

    Since the extra money is shared between your bank and the merchant, some places will automatically bill you in your own currency and hope you don't notice. You have the legal right to refuse and void the transaction should this happen. 

    ATMs too

    The same applies when taking money out of ATM machines in Gran Canaria (and anywhere in Europe); Always choose the local currency option to avoid losing money to poor exchange rates.

    If you opt for the local currency option, using bank ATMs is often the cheapest and safest way of getting euros in Gran Canaria. It's far safer than having a big pile of euros hidden in your room or tucked into your shorts.

    More details in this Daily Telegraph article.

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