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Councillors meet in plenary to OK plan to regulate vehicle ingress on island

ple-marc---extraordinari prems2The Formentera Council convened a special full assembly where the “yes” votes of Gent per Formentera (GxF) cabinet councillors and Socialist councillors, and despite the abstention of Popular Party and Compromís councillors, meant approval of a deal between the Govern balear and the Formentera Council to mount and manage floating pontoons and environmentally-friendly buoys at Estany des Peix pond in the Eivissa-Formentera ses Salines reserve.

Under the deal the Formentera Council will oversee watercraft moorage at Estany des Peix once the Palma administration completes a related plan and secures approval of it by the coastal authority. CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera praised the move, saying it “would finally give the Formentera Council the power to recover one of the island's trademark natural sites”.

Managing vehicle entry
The full-house assembly also brought approval, thanks to “yes” votes from GxF and PSOE party reps and despite PP and Compromís abstention, for the proposal to cap vehicle ingress and establish a period of limited entry, circulation and parking on local public roads in 2019.

Assembly members voted similarly on a fee for the entry, circulation and parking permit, and again on the tax ordinance regulating it.

Mobility councillor Rafael González pointed out that the programme's rollout would be limited to July 1-August 31, and that starting April 15 related information could be found at formentera.eco. Tourists can pre-register on the platform and, from mid-May, complete the normal registration. The website will also be a place where islanders can obtain permits for private vehicles or confirm authorisation (“blue zone” parking clearance will automatically entitle motorists to bring their vehicle, park and drive on the island during the period of regulation).

González added that this year the cost of a permit would be symbolic. Visitors from outside the islands will pay a euro per day to bring a car and fifty cents a day for scooters. He hailed the advance of what he styled as a “grassroots initiative with origins in the Consell d'Entitats” as well as the announcement that “2019 is the first year Formentera won't have more vehicles in summer than it did the previous year”. “This is not just a win for Formentera's sustainability”, he insisted, “it brings us closer to balance between tourism and a healthy environment, and to ensuring that both visitors and islanders get what they want out of the island”.

Councillor-elect Verónica Castelló also assumed her seat as Compromís party representative, filling a position left vacant by Omar Juan.

March 27, 2019
Formentera Council
Àrea de Comunicació

Formentera Council points out courts have consistently ruled in favour of administration, prosecutor finds no evidence of wrongdoing in Punta Prima case

foto-rp-punta-prima1The Formentera Council chair and deputy chair, Jaume Ferrer and Bartomeu Escandell, met for a noon press conference today to discuss the criminal suit brought by businessman Leo Stöber against the two officials, Pep Mayans, Sílvia Tur, Sònia Cardona and other Gent per Formentera councillors in the cabinet from 2007 to 2011 for blocking an expansion of housing in Punta Prima. Also on hand was the pair's defence attorney, Fernando Mateas.

Mateas, pointing out that the Balearic high court and the Spanish supreme court alike vetted the island's “Land Strategy” (Pla Territorial), concluded “the Council conducted itself exactly as it should have. That's not an opinion; it's a fact”. Mateas indicated that Stöber filed his criminal suit as soon as he learned the judge had ruled against him in the contentious litigation with the Council.

The public prosecutor had previously issued the opinion that no crime had been committed, clarifying that “the only one bringing charges here is Stöber himself; the prosecutor's office has not brought any charges”. Mateas framed the action as nuisance litigation and said his clients were already feeling the character-sullying squeeze of the attending media storm. But he made it clear that there was no need for drama. “Court appearances are sometimes a fact of life”, said Mateas, “and certainly nothing to be afraid of when you're in the right”.

Jaume Ferrer admitted he was “surprised” by the start the suit had gotten off to—particularly after all the court rulings in Council's favour and the DA had indicated his intention not to prosecute. “Leo Stöber sees these court cases as a way to generate pressure so things go his way”, Ferrer said. “But ses Salines nature reserve's Pla d'Ordenació de Recursos Naturals ['Natural Resource Strategy'] prohibits the granting of tourism permits in this area of the island. “Stöber is accusing us of a crime we haven't committed in an bid to compel us to commit one in his favour”, observed Ferrer. “To grant building permits on land where construction is illegal would be a crime”, he reasoned, “and we've always put islanders' interests first. We'll continue to do just that”.

For his part, Bartomeu Escandell insisted “we're here today to preserve this site and limit building to lawful initiatives only”. “It's crucial we remember that the decision to apply current environmental regulations in Punta Prima has already received the approval of the Balearic high court and the Spanish supreme court”.

Formentera Council
Àrea de Comunicació
March 26, 2019

17th Festa Intercultural to take over es Pujols plaza April 7

foto-2019 festa interculturalAt 11.00am this morning in the Formentera Council's Sala d'Actes, CiF social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada met with the organiser of the Festa Intercultural, Maribel Jiménez Tur, and Adan Gimena, who chairs the organising group, to unveil details about Formentera's 17th Festa Intercultural, an event scheduled for April 7 in es Pujols' plaça d'Europa.

The yearly gathering encompasses a diverse array of countries and Spanish autonomous communities represented on the island (twelve and six, respectively). Chile, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy, Ecuador, Morocco, Paraguay, plus Andalusia, Galicia, Valencia, Catalunya, Asturias, Castilla la Mancha, Andalusia and Formentera, are some of the twenty nations and peoples whose cuisines and cultures will be represented at the event.

Games for children
Activities from 1.00pm to 6.00pm will include mural painting, a pint-size field day or “gymkhana” and games from around the world. Children at the Festa Intercultural will also be able to enjoy inflatable bouncy toys and take part in other kid-friendly activities.

World cuisine
From 2.00pm to 3.30pm, attendees will be treated to an assortment of fine-dining flavours from the event's various stands. Among the signature world dishes expected to make appearances are Moroccan couscous, Argentinian roast meat (asado) and an Indonesian dish, not to mention more traditional fare like Valencian paella and arròs negre.

Musical performances
Music, including a selection from participating countries and regions, is on the programme from 2.00pm to 7.00pm. Islanders will enjoy a sonada pagesa (a local signature), Brazilian dance, Argentinian folklore, merengue from the Dominican Republic and more. Paco Romero together with Claudio Sabor and Gabriel Guitar will be there with more music later, and La 22 will help wrap things up with a closing concert.

Four-euro adult tickets permit their holder to enjoy five sample dishes, while admission for children under 12 is €2 and includes three sample dishes. Islanders are asked to do their part for the environment by bringing their own plates and cutlery. Those who can't will be provided biodegradable utensils with everything they need. The 2019 Festa Intercultural is, for the first time ever, 100 per cent plastics-free. The officials also took the opportunity to applaud hard work of this year's 100-person team of volunteers.

Formentera Council
Àrea de Comunicació
March 26, 2019

Workshops on pregnancy, infants and families

cartel jornada embarassades bi1The Formentera Council's culture office reports that Tuesday April 2 and Wednesday April 3, Biblioteca Marià Villangómez will host day-long learning events about pregnancy, newborns and families.

The sessions are divided into three parts: pregnancy, a newborn's first months and parents. Instruction will be given by Marta Català Toran.

Taking place Tuesday April 2 at 6.00pm, the first session is for pregnant women and partners who are ready for the chance to use music to start building a bond with their child.

The second session, on Wednesday April 3 at 11.00, is a workshop for parents of babies up to six months old. It is envisioned as a space to breathe and stock up on musical tools to share with their children.

Space is limited at both events and all those interested in participating are asked to register in advance via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Marta Català got her education and professional training at Fundació Esplai, where she directed cooperation projects —always firmly rooted in education— with Bosnia and Guinea Bissau. Her passion for communication and education propelled her to storytelling with storyteller Numancia Rojas. With that experience under her belt, and nurturing a love of music, Català took up two-tone accordion and traditional song, a pivot which has shaped a more than ten year trajectory performing stories, romances and songs for newborns, children and adults.

A special 6.00pm storytime for newborns (zero to six months old) will crown the educational sessions on Wednesday April 3. In «Bosquim Boscam», Català's accordion will provide the melodies for a stroll (or crawl) reviewing the assorted musical adventures of the previous days.

Formentera Council
Àrea de Comunicació
March 25, 2019

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