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Local groups ask port authority to keep studying location of new port

Reunió Consell Entitats premsaYesterday evening the Consell d'Entitats, Formentera's representative body of local businesses and associations, held an informational session on the project for the new port in Eivissa that will give service to Formentera-bound vessels. Among the attendees were Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona. Cardona gave audience members an account of the situation up to now and pointed out that the meeting had finally come after three years of requests sent to the Balearic port authority and the Council of Eivissa.

For his part, port authority director Carlos Plaza detailed the plans for the Estació Marítima de Formentera, which the port authority hopes to construct on Eivissa's commercial dock. Port authority president Juan Gual de Torrella pointed to  «the growing number travellers making the Formentera-Eivissa journey, a yearly figure which currently stands at 1,600,000» as the motive behind the location change. The mayor of Eivissa, Rafael Ruiz, was also invited to the meeting. Ruiz spoke about the Casa Consistorial's plan to totally remodel Eivissa's port area, «making for a more pleasant experience for visitors». According to Ruiz, any deviation from the current works schedule will hold up that remodel project. Lastly, Miquel Gallardo, director general of participation and transparency in the Govern Balear, praised the Consell d'Entitats as a model participatory organisation.

Representatives of 34 Formentera groups attended the presentation. A lively debate followed in which attendees of the meeting unanimously agreed that the port authority should continue discussion concerning the new Formentera port's location. At the close of the meeting, President Ferrer expressed his hope that the key players in the Eivissa port remodel meet and «consider the will of the people of Formentera, who must use their neighbour's port as their only available point of entry and exit to the island».

Meeting with newly-appointed Moroccan consul in Balearics

Visita consol marrocFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of social welfare Vanessa Parellada met today with the newly-appointed Moroccan consul for the Balearic Islands, Hanane Saadi, in the presidential office of the CiF. Ferrer thanked the representative of Morocco, whose 434 countrymen on Formentera he said «form a very important part of the island». Ferrer offered an outstretched hand to the newly-appointed consul and declared: «This administration does everything it can to meet the needs of our island's Moroccan community».

Education and integration

For her part, the Moroccan consul gave thanks to Ferrer and Parellada for their welcome and used the opportunity to highlight the importance of education in assuring the proper integration of new generations of immigrants, who are Moroccan but also Spanish. «Not until a person knows his origins can he integrate in his new home, and that is what is most important for us: the integration of Moroccans living in Spain».

Travelling consul

The Consulate General of Morocco in Palma opened four years ago, explained Saadi. The Moroccan representative assured «the Consulate General's mobile office will travel to the Pitiüsas up to twice a year to provide Moroccan residents here access to consular services».

Council teams up with Espai Dones to tackle gender violence, promote equality

Conveni Espai Dones 2016 premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council and the Espai Dones association signed a deal laying the foundation of a partnership, valued at €3,000, «to promote equality and prevent gender violence», said Vanessa Parellada, councillor of social welfare.

According to the association's recently-appointed president, Dolores Tamargo, the accord will be crucial if Espai Dones is to continue to grow and achieve their antiviolence targets. The group expects to announce its activities programme for International Women's Day (8 March) next week. The programme, she said, will extend into April and be both educational and fun. She described it as «an array of actions that put the spotlight on gender equality and women's rights».

Since its creation, Espai Dones Formentera has used events like International Working Women's Day (March) and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November) to promote its message of equality. This is the fourth year of the partnership between the Council and Espai Dones.

Formentera takes show to BIT in Italy

Fira MilàToday was the first day of the BIT (for Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, or International Travel Fair) in Milan, one of Italy's most important tourism trade fairs. Hence, through Saturday, the promotions office of the Formentera Council has got one fairly simple goal: «Build loyalty among Italian travellers». As department head Carlos Bernús indicated, «Formentera shares a stand with the other islands of the Balearics and we've used our space to tout our green trails and publicise events like our very first beach volleyball tournament, to be held at Cala Saona beach in May». Bernús says the office also hopes to see more tourists coming to the island in the low season.

Germany and London

Since yesterday and through to Sunday 14 February, Formentera is also doing promotional work at Munich's international exhibition for tourism and leisure, Free. Once again, at a stand shared with our Balearic neighbours, Formentera tourism reps will be promoting the island to the German market. According to Bernús, Germany will be the site of ten different presentations this year, where Formentera will set itself apart as «a family-friendly island of fresh air and open spaces; an island where, unlike some destination spots plagued by conflict, Formentera offers its visitors the promise of safety». And finally, from today to Sunday Formentera will be attending the London Bike Show, an exhibition for cycling-addicts where our local tourism representatives will show off the different cycle paths of the island.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat