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Island governments of Formentera and Eivissa chart joint strategy on care for underage minors

reunio---benestar-social1Formentera and Eivissa's councillors of social welfare, Rafael Ramírez and Carolina Escandell, met today on Formentera for a working meeting where discussion centred on various issues affecting the departments, including the arrival of underage minors on the shores of the Pine Islands. Ramírez and Escandell redefined the strategic lines of action and inter-council collaboration in response to a situation they said had “caught everyone off guard” and which, amid the arrival of watercraft on local shores in recent months, “has exceeded any predictions”.

Conseller Ramírez underscored cooperation between the islands, remarking the special nature of the situation and speaking of saturation at the level of the island councils, including Mallorca: “This is why coordination with our regional and national institutions is vital, so we can guarantee migrants' ability to find their place here and thrive socially”. Ramírez said Formentera's social welfare office would take on new personnel in order to follow the youths' cases, and insisted more resources would be needed to ensure the minors' proper care.

For her part, Consellera Escandell described “an emergency no one anticipated and that none of the other island councils had dealt with before”. “Guardianship of underage persons is something we've managed until now, but numbers this year are beyond any predictions”, said the councillor. “All the means at our disposition are outstripped”, she asserted, “we're talking about having to double capacity; no one expected that, and we believe that for the time being, it's going to continue”. Escandell agreed with Ramírez that the circumstances “require support from Palma and Madrid” and said Formentera and Eivissa's two governments would meet periodically to “keep exploring new areas of collaboration and new synergies”.

“There isn't going to be one single fix here”, insisted the Eivissa councilwoman: “We need the strength of many if we intend to give these youth the resources they need”.

And finally, the two councillors highlighted the work of department staff: “We decision-makers can draw strategic lines of action, but the ones dealing with this situation —the dedicated ones, out there on the ground— are the employees of local Formentera and Eivissa governments. That's important”.


29 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera activates push to tackle trichinosis

3--cartell-campanya-triquina-21This Friday, 1 November, the Consell de Formentera agriculture office will begin its rollout of measures to stem the spread of trichinosis. Scheduled to run through 30 March 2020, the provisions are aimed at containing a parasite-driven sickness that humans can contract by eating raw or undercooked pork, boar, horse and sausage such as sobrassada which hasn’t undergone thermic treatment. To eliminate the parasite, pork from traditional hog slaughters must be tested. Interested islanders should contact Formentera’s office of agriculture, located at Centre Gabrielet in Sant Francesc, or by phoning 971.321.087, extension 3164. Department staff will provide material and instructions for collecting samples to ensure that food can be safely consumed without endangering human health.


29 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Maritime transport decree, better housing and sustainable mobility on agenda in meeting with Marc Pons

foto-reunio---marc-ponsvj1This morning at the offices of Consell de Formentera, Alejandra Ferrer, Ana Juan and Rafael González, the island’s president, housing councillor and mobility councillor, sat down with Marc Pons, the Balearic minister of mobility and housing, and Jaume Mateu, the director general of the regional mobility section. A first among the five officials, the gathering served to spotlight questions such as maritime transport, sustainable mobility and housing.

President Ferrer framed work on the maritime transport decree as crucial, tracing the legislation’s significance—and the importance of guaranteeing early-bird and late-night passages—to the fact that “ferry connections with Eivissa are the only way on and off the island”.

Councillor Pons asserted “local and regional governments’ priorities are one and the same”, and said a closely coordinated effort was now under way to achieve those goals. In fact, the officials penciled in a work session prior to the discussion on maritime transport that is set for Monday 25 November.

As both Ms Ferrer and Mr Pons pointed out, the same mutually beneficial solutions that made progress possible on legislation for Formentera’s environmental and financial sustainability could be sought in the present effort. Speaking about the maritime transport decree, Ferrer insisted that “solutions will be forthcoming—and our residents’ needs met—if we work together, particularly on something of such basic importance for Formentera”.

Sustainable mobility
Pons pointed out that this year the Govern balear has chipped in €350,000 to ensure the project to track and cap vehicles brought onto Formentera is accompanied by upgrades to public transport and sustainable mobility. The funds will be invested in service improvements, expanding the rollout of e-vehicle recharge points and swapping certain municipal vehicles for more sustainable hybrid or electric models.

Housing
As for housing policy, President Ferrer pointed out that the Consell “has a plot of land ready for the Balearic housing authority, Ibavi, to build low-cost public housing”. Ferrer said collaboration between the two administrations aimed at “expanding the scope of Ibavi to include a dedicated Formentera office”.

For his part, Pons pointed out that assistance from the regional government —non-existent just four years ago— totaled €125,000 in 2018 and benefitted 44 Formentera families. The Balearic minister assured the deadline on applications for those benefits was still open, and said “the Govern will build low-cost housing on any land the Consell makes available for that purpose”. He pointed to the planned announcement of a “wide array of housing measures for the whole archipelago” in early 2020, saying “the problem isn't temporary; it's structural”.


28 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Nephew of ‘Puchi Puchi’ commemorates uncle by giving Formentera work of art

conveni-cessio---escultura1Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer met today with sculptor Enrique Saavedra to make official the bequeathment of a sculpture titled “Aura Pura”. The recycled metal sculpture will become public property and placed in the garden of Formentera’s dependent care facility, the Centre de Dia.

Ferrer heralded Saavedra’s commemoration of his uncle, Jordi (or Jorge) “Puchi Puchi” Chicheri, who spent the final 40 years of his life on the island. Remembered as the owner of Formentera’s first herbalist, he passed away in 2008 and his remains are at rest in the Sant Francesc municipal cemetery.

The sculpture represents a grove of pine trees near Cala Saona, the area Saavedra’s uncle called home. The artist says he sees the name of the piece, Aura Pura (which means “Pure Aura” in English), as a fitting encapsulation of his uncle’s spirit. Recycled tube posts serve as tree trunks, while clouds floating overhead are leaves—also crafted from recycled stainless steel.

Saavedra knew from the start he wanted to pay tribute to his uncle, and traces the idea of the gift to the fact that Saavedra himself discovered the island thanks to Puchi Puchi. “I’ll always come back”, he promised.

Formentera’s culture chief, Susana Labrador, was also on hand as the donation was made official.

28 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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