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Formentera OKs plans for observatory to study local tourism stats separately from Eivissa's

foto-2a-debat-estat-de-formentWhen party representatives regrouped earlier today in the plenary hall of the island's dependent care facility to discuss the current state of affairs on Formentera, the session —the second of its kind— was marked by the display of assembly members crossing party lines to score consensus. Gent per Formentera (GxF) managed to win the backing of the other parties on all seven of its proposals, and broad consensus was also secured by the PSOE (four times), Compromís (three) and the Popular Party (two).

Gent per Formentera

GxF party representatives nabbed unanimous support for each of their proposed measures, including one which would use newfound authority in tourism promotion to fund creation of an observatory to track local tourism figures. The remaining three involved a deal with the Palma administration and the Balearic housing authority (IBAVI) to improve housing services; a call to action on an eight-year-old piece of legislation concerning maritime transport; and urging review of a “repositioning tax” that creates roadblocks to offer permanent positions to public servants.

GxF council reps scored cross-party support on a bid to press Madrid's envoy in the Balearics to drop legal action against the Formentera Council concerning permanent law enforcement positions created in 2014. The assembly reached unanimity on another measure to accelerate a deal on education, and on a measure to urge the Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina to incorporate undersea maps from the Posidonia Maps project.

Formentera Socialist Party

Local PSOE reps managed to pass four of their party's proposals: a comprehensive management plan for local forests; continued consolidation of the Council's workforce paired with a strategic human resources plan; real-time broadcasts of plenary assembly gatherings; and user profiles which let council members track documentation across the application managing administrative formalities.


Compromís party members scored cross-party backing on three proposals: plans to study prohibition of disposable plastic cups and utensils as well as biodegradable alternatives; a walking/cycling trail linking Sant Ferran and es Pujols; and improved safety measures at school entry and exit points.

Popular Party

Popular Party representatives successfully passed two proposals, as well: first, to press the central and regional governments for increased local presence so Formentera residents aren't forced to travel to Eivissa to carry out administrative formalities, and second, to urge the Govern balear to use its lawful authority to expedite processing of a request from the Virgen Milagrosa school for a new facility in Sant Francesc.

Neighbourliness, mutual respect hold spotlight as Jaume Ferrer addresses assembly at first 'state of Formentera' debate

Foto debat estat de FormenteraThe Formentera Council convened a plenary assembly this Tuesday for what was announced as the first in a series of discussions on the current state of affairs on Formentera. The estat de Formentera (state of Formentera) session began with an address by Council president Jaume Ferrer in which the administration chief identified the most laudable aspect of the island's reality as “the overwhelming sense of fellowship and respect”. According to Ferrer, that is all the more noteworthy because “a third of Formentera's population was born outside the Balearics and another third was born outside Spain”.

Guiding his administration's political direction, Ferrer asserted, is a will to preserve that neighbourliness. Five core ideas give structure and shape to the task: education, the general interests of the island at large, environmental stewardship, respect for local culture and pluralist decision-making, as embodied by the island's Consell d'Entitats.

Popular Party

When José Manuel Alcaraz took the floor on behalf of the Popular Party, he criticised the administration's proposed tourism-driven rezoning plan and took swings at the project to regulate the flow of vehicles entering the island. Alcaraz chalked up his party's disaffection with the plan to the fact it establishes a limit on entry instead of a fee-based system of access.

Socialist Party

PSOE spokeswoman Ana Juan focused on more practical aspects of the line adopted by the opposition, such as calls for separate office spaces for distinct parties, overhauling Council rules to increase the amount of floor time given to opposition parties, and information access via a transparency portal. Juan, too, expressed her party's coolness towards the tourist rezoning measure.


Party reps Cristina Costa and Omar Juan shared speaking duties for their party. Both asserted general agreement with the overarching policy direction described by President Ferrer, tracing their disagreements to the “speed with which particular subjects are addressed”. The pair affirmed their party's support for the tourist rezoning plan.

Firefighters contain small fire

Foto incendi petit 2018Agents of Formentera's fire brigade and Ibanat, the Balearic forest service, put out a nascent wildfire at kilometre marker 11 of the highway linking la Savina with la Mola.

Notice of the roadside fire, apparently the result of a cigarette end which was tossed aside while still alight, came through at 5.07pm. Luckily, two factors —the fast-acting individual who called in the tip and the swift response of emergency services— converged to ensure the blaze was limited to one square metre of brush on the highway shoulder.

Two firefighters and another pair of Ibanat agents arrived on the scene with two rapid-response vehicles and brought the flames under control by 5.28pm.

Taking the opportunity to remind islanders of the risk that improperly extinguished cigarettes can pose, the fire brigade urged smokers and motorists alike to be especially vigilant. Sprawling vegetation this spring is the result of an especially wet winter. Today, with brush left dissecated by succeeding bouts of hot weather, the risk of wildfires is especially high.

Formentera fire brigade teams up with forest services and safety force on simulation drill

foto bombers 2018 1Formentera's corps of firefighters were joined by Balearic forest service agents and civil protection volunteers as they battled a simulated forest fire near a plot of land called sa Roqueta.

Four firefighters and a forest service worker were on hand for the exercise, which began at 12 noon and had finished by 2.00pm. It included six service vehicles—two from the fire brigade's fleet; one from the civil protection force, equipped with a trailer carrying the force's mobile command central; and three belonging to the forest service.

The exercise was aimed at improving preparedness and coordination in wildfires requiring a joint emergency service response.

Swelling forests have so far followed a particularly wet winter, making such speed- and coordination-enhancing exercises all the more important. As a fire safety measure, fires are prohibited in rural and wooded parts of the island from May 1 to October 1.

In plenary, Formentera OKs discounts for hybrids

foto ple abril 2018 1When the Formentera Council convened its May plenary assembly this Friday, particular attention fell on two measures and the cross-party support they obtained. One involved giving drivers of hybrid vehicles rebates and another, urging Madrid to fill a post in the state public employment service.

Conceived as a boost for sustainable mobility, the proposed measure would give hybrid vehicle drivers a 50% discount on a vehicle tax (drivers of electric cars already get a 75% rebate). A similar 50% discount will be applied when drivers park at Illetes beach and es Pujols's Plaça Europa car park. Drivers paying for annual, monthly or weekly parking will get discounts, too—of 75% if their vehicle is electric, 50% for hybrids.

Social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada described the request for an agent stationed on Formentera as being about offering the same services, and the same resources, indiscriminately across the region.

Other proposals
The assembly also came together behind a measure brought by Gent per Formentera (GxF) urging the central government to keep its word on the Istanbul Protocol, of which it is a signee, and devote resources to education, inclusivity and fighting gender violence.

Another GxF proposal that landed cross-party support was a call to reopen post office outposts in Sant Ferran, la Mola and la Savina. A socialist party proposal to equip Can Marroig with public toilets was also passed.

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