Demonstrators protest to save history of the Antequera vega threatened by AVE
HUNDREDS of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against the proposed AVE high-speed rail plans for Antequera.
Meanwhile, more than 1,200 people have so far written to the authorities demanding the destructive scheme is scrapped.
Among a series of official complaints, leading archaeologist Antonio Riñones insists the scheme will destroy some of the most important Roman sites in Spain.
Claiming the area is of national importance, he insisted there are numerous ruins, including a villa at Huerta del Cipres, which shows evidence of the wealth of the zone in Roman times.
“It is very destructive for various archaeological sites,” he writes. “And this will impede future digs in a zone that has a unique significance, incomparable in Spain.”
The line will affect a total of 400 landowners, most of whom also oppose the track.
A new pressure group called the Platform of those Affected by the AVE Alternativa Sur II, is putting pressure on the town hall and regional government to step in.
Its spokesman, Juan Aguilera, told the Olive Press: “We are demanding that the AVE follows the existing train line, which would avoid any expropriation of land, will not affect the vega and will leave the existing stations as they are.”
The protest last week demanded an urgent stop to the current scheme to carve a new line across the fertile vega from Bobadilla into the centre of the Málaga town.
Insisting it will cause massive damage to the historic area, they also argue it will also not serve the local residents of the area.
“We believe the authorities should be concentrating on the local Cercanias commuter line, which is cheaper, more environmentally friendly and will serve the local community, much better,” said Janet Shepherdson, who lives in Bobadilla.
“Aside from the obvious destruction it will bring, we fear that the local line will be replaced by a new expensive service that will only serve tourists and the wealthy.
“What is going to happen to stations like Bobadilla, Campillos and Almargen? We believe they could well be shut,” she added.
Demanding that – at the very least – the line should be underground if it is introduced, protesters also insist that the existing local train line stays open.
Members of the political parties PABA and the PP, were joined by pressure group Antequera Habitable and the CGT rail trade union at the demonstration estimated to involve over 500 people.