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Junta de Portaveus to consult local community leaders on port site

Junta portaveus 7 de març 2016The Formentera Council (CiF) Junta de Portaveus, a committee formed by spokespeople from each political party with Council representation, and Jaume Ferrer, president of the CiF, held a meeting to discuss the Balearic port authority (APB) and Ajuntament d'Eivissa-backed proposal to site the Formentera ferry station in the port of Vila.

The president described to Junta members the proposal transmitted to him by APB president Joan Gual de Torrella last Friday, which includes building “a stop in the northern tip of el Martell in the Eivissa port, where passengers will disembark”. The proposal then has boats continuing on to the commercial dock area of the port to dock.

President Ferrer conveyed the administration's doubts about the plan, which he noted provides for a passenger disembarkation in el Martell for Eivissa-bound boats from Formentera, but not the other way around. “One of the points that needs discussing is allowing passenger boarding to occur in that same area”, said Ferrer. He reminded Junta members that the current port authority plan lacks any such provision. The Junta has agreed to “wait for the meeting of the Council of Entities, this evening at half past seven”. Describing the goal for the gathering, the CiF president said attendees would “debate the issue with an eye to settling on a decision”.

Formentera keeps investing in countryside

Cooperativa camp foto conveniAt a meeting today between Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, president of the Formentera farmers' cooperative (la Cooperativa del Camp), the two officials put their signatures on a joint action accord that Ferrer said is designed to «continue the rollout of the farmland reserve (Cens de Terres) and other projects to redevelop local farming and improve the Formentera countryside».

The accord amounts to an extension of a 2015 agreement of the same value, €95,000. In Ferrer's words, the deal demonstrates «the Council's ongoing commitment to redeveloping the agricultural sector and protecting the natural beauty of Formentera». Ferrer congratulated the collective's management on achieving their 2015 targets and encouraged them to keep up the good work in 2016.

In addition, the CiF president signalled good news in the form of more rollouts: the start of operations at the cooperative's industrial space and delivery of newly-acquired field equipment including a tractor, an excavator and a seed drill.

For his part, the farmers' cooperative president thanked the administration for its support while bemoaning predictions the season's entire forage crop would be lost to a particularly unsparing dry season. In that respect, the CiF president pledged to unlock funding «to help livestock farmers meet animal feed costs».

Renewed joint action with Ràdio Illa

Signatura acord ACAFFormentera Council (CiF) president Jaume Ferrer and Paco Pérez, president of the Associació Cultural Audiovisual de Formentera (ACAF), have put their signatures on a joint action plan on content production at the island's public radio station, Ràdio Illa. The signing took place today at 12 midday in the plenary hall of the local administration.

President Ferrer said he was glad to be renewing the joint agreement, which this year provides a more substantial grant —40,000 euros compared to 33,000 last year—«so that Ràdio Illa can continue growing into its role and carry on providing more and better content». Ferrer congratulated Ràdio Illa on its work over the years, a quality service he says is appreciated by the Council and the people of Formentera alike.

The ACAF president gave special thanks to the CiF for trusting the group's ability to deliver results. Pérez also thanked Ràdio Illa listeners and the workers at the station that make daily operations possible. He noted, finally, that 2016 is a year of anniversaries: this year ACAF will turn 10 and the station will turn 30. He mused, «Ràdio Illa has become our island's go-to station, and we want to keep it that way». As for ACAF's biggest targets for 2016: «ever-increasing news reports and the creation a news portal».

Formentera cheers Xicu des Capri on Ramón Llull award

Xicu des CapriThe Formentera Council, by way of the administration's office of the presidency, extends its congratulations to Formentera-native Francesc Marí Mayans—Xicu des Capri—who is slated to receive the Govern Balear's Ramón Llull award on Monday 29 February. CiF president Jaume Ferrer expressed his delight seeing the formenterer snare such an important distinction.

According to the Balearic Islands government's website: «The award is conceived as a way to recognise and honour persons — both legal and physical — who have made a notable contribution to the region in terms of culture, sports, law, trade, civics, humanitarian work, research, education or linguistics».

Tourism and tradition

Organisers chose to grant this year's honours to Xicu—a pioneering entrepreneur in Formentera's tourism sector—for fomenting the role of community associations and defending traditional art forms like llaüt (dinghy) based fishing. Xicu was born in 1938, and has come to be held as the paradigm for promotors and tradesmen in tourism. Not only did he disseminate the values of an older, more traditional Formentera through an unbroken commitment to professional fishing, but he would also remain an active figure in the local tourism business throughout his life.

Xicu promoted and ran numerous es Pujols businesses but, as the CiF president pointed out today, was always mindful of keeping the traditional family spirit of the island intact. He served his own catches to the patrons of his restaurants – a clever way to promote traditional fishing – and was the face of Formentera for countless tourists.

Party reps want to meet with port authority, Eivissa administration to discuss new port

RP Junta de Portaveus Estació MarítimaThis morning, the grouping of local political party representatives known as the Junta de Portaveus gathered with Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer to discuss last week's meeting of the Formentera Council of Entities. Wednesday, 17 February, members of the local business community and different island organisations convened an evening gathering to discuss the location of the new Formentera landing in the port of Eivissa. That evening, meeting attendees unanimously rejected the Balearic port authority's proposed relocation of the landing to Eivissa's commercial dock.

In a joint press conference, Ferrer announced the Junta's decision to request a meeting attended by Juan Gual de Torrella, president of the Balearic port authority, CiF president Ferrer, Formentera's party spokespeople and representatives of the two Eivissa administrations (the Council and the Ajuntament), «to open up new dialogue – with all the involved parties – on the relocation of the Formentera landing». In so doing, the Formentera representatives have taken up Gual de Torrella on an offer he extended at the Wednesday gathering to «meet with all the sectors affected by the relocation plans». After the meeting, Ferrer explained, «another gathering of the Council of Entities will be convened to report back».

All those present at the Junta gathering indicated their support for the decision, and reiterated their insistence on keeping the Formentera landing in its current home. If a move is ultimately unavoidable, party reps said they want their suggestions – which include calling for a maximum number of services and accommodation for Formentera residents – to be heard before the port authority.

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