CITCOM Dead in the Water

Many projects have fallen by the wayside in the province, thanks to the economical times in which we live. In the case of Almuñécar it was CITCOM, or in other words the Centro de Innovacion en Transformacion y Comercializacion de Subtropicales, which is a title that only a politician could seriously consider.

CITCOM, which was supposed to open its doors next year, but in reality never got off the drawing board, was proudly announced by then Mayor, Juan Carlos Benavides, together with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Granada and the Delegado de Innovacion for the Junta.

The installations for this project, whose aim was to promote subtropical fruit grown in the area, were to be built in La Galera – this is the area above the Carabajio beach (which used to be known as the Eucaliptis Beach by long-time residents.)

The arrangement was for the Chamber of Commerce and the Junta to put up the 1m-euro budget and for the Town Hall to cede the 1,800 sq/m building plot. What the centre was actually supposed to do was to transform Chirimoya and mango fruit into derivative products; foodstuffs, cosmetics, etc.

The idea is an old one and a sensible one because the value of the area’s crop would increase manyfold. Furthermore, the centre was to provide advice to fruit farmers to make their products more competitive by designing sales strategies.

The Chamber of Commerce was going to provide 70% of the funds, which they in return received through the European Funds for Regional Development, and the other 30% was going to be provided by the Junta, as previously mentioned.

When the Central Government brought out a decree canceling obligatory payments to the Chambers of Commerce across the land  – those pesky little bills that all autonomos and companies used to receive, the C.o.C’s funds dried up. In the case of the Granada one, they suddenly saw their annual 2.5m euros disappear.

Faced with this sort of setback, the Chamber of Commerce understandably pulled out of their side of the arrangement, after laying off 40% of its staff and closing down many branches over the province.

(News: Almuñécar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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