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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.

Formentera gets €300,000 to promote tourism

conveni formentera 1The president of the Formentera Council, Jaume Ferrer, met today with the Govern Balear's vice-president and councillor of tourism, Biel Barceló, to put his signature on an agreement that will see the Palma administration «covering some of the costs of promoting Formentera tourism». As part of the deal, the Palma administration will provision €300,000 for different initiatives in 2016, explained the president.

According to Ferrer, «our ultimate goal is for authority on tourism promotions to be switched over to the local island councils during this legislative session». He also highlighted that such a change «must come with funding that is both fair and sufficient». Nevertheless, until such a transfer of powers takes place, Ferrer said it will be necessary to establish a mechanism providing an official basis to the current collaboration between the Govern and the CiF. He thanked the executive branch in Palma for the funding and noted such subsidies had been absent among the actions of the last government. The signing took place at 12 noon in the head offices of the regional ministry of tourism in Palma.

Boned: improvement projects could make pollution, noise thing of past at Formentera power plant

Reunió amb veïns Es Ca Marí premsaEarlier today, Alejandra Ferrer and Daisee Aguilera, Formentera's councillors of land and environment, respectively, held a meeting with Joan Boned, regional minister of land, energy and transport; Joan Groizard, director general of the Balearic office in charge of tackling energy and climate change issues; and different representatives from the Es Ca Marí neighbourhood. At the gathering Minister Boned detailed the different actions planned by the Palma administration to take aim at the perennial buzzing, pollution and emissions that have long plagued the area around the power station.

At present, Palma envisions modifying the site's noise abatement technology, updating the generators used at the plant, installing a system of noise absorption within the plant itself and building a single, eight to ten metre smokestack. The regional minister promised a return visit before summer in order to ensure plans remain on track.

Councillor Aguilera said the Govern's proposed solution, which will be in place by summer 2016, is sufficient until a more definitive fix can be found. Lina Mayans, secretary of the Es Ca Marí neighbours' association, indicated she is pleased with the anticipated measures, while noting the group's greatest cause for concern remains pollution levels in the area.

Anger over cuts in power service

Boned expressed his anger over the service cuts that have hit Formentera since the year began. According to the minister, inclement meteorological events cannot be used as an excuse because the power company should be able to predict them. Boned made assurances his department has already demanded the company provide explanations for the service interruptions and take the necessary steps to avoid their continued occurrence.

Carnival to be held in the old fitness centre

The CiF office of local holidays has confirmed that Carnival 2016 will take place this Sunday, 14 February, in the old fitness centre (known locally as el Poliesportiu Vell). All those who intend to participate in the procession must visit the sports area of the centre between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. Participants will then gather in front of IES Marc Ferrer secondary school, located on avinguda 8 d'Agost.

The weather forecast for Saturday is not promising, and to avoid having to cancel again, councillor of culture Susana Labrador explained organisers have come up with an alternate plan to ensure the celebration goes off without a hitch. Labrador encouraged the entire island to come out, assuring that «neither snow, rain nor wind will get in the way of this Sunday's festivities».

«Once everyone is ready, we will have people go inside the sports module, where those in fancy dress will show off their costumes and creations – and rock out to the rhythms provided by Allsex – before the watchful eyes of the jury», said Labrador. When fancy dress flouting has finished, it will be DJ Pharma's turn to get the whole crowd dancing. At 2 p.m. the parents' association of C.P Mestre Lluís Andreu will host their community lunch, where, Labrador reminded, «all in fancy dress eat free». The awards ceremony will be the final act of the day, concluding a party Labrador called «a thrill to organise». The councillor closed by encouraging parade-goers to come out strong, and promised the celebration will get everyone feeling festive ... no matter the weather.

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