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Address by the vice president on the Diada de les Illes Balears

Discurs Dia Illes 2016Hello, I want to thank all the authorities and residents that have come today for the Council's ceremonial act in celebration of Balearic Islands day.

A celebration which takes place on Formentera, and Eivissa, Menorca and Mallorca as well.

Today is the first of March. An important day for the Balearic Islands. We celebrate this day in commemoration of the first statute of the Balearic Islands' entry into force. That happened 1 March 1983. We also commemorate the entry into force of that statute's revision, 1 March 2007.

That revision was very important for our island. It is what paved the way for the creation of the Formentera Island Council.

So March 1st is an important day for our island and all the Balearic Islands, because it's a celebration that reminds us of the common project we are developing together.

A project that requires our unity.

On Formentera, these first few months of the legislative session, we are showing unity is possible if we've got common goals, if we heed the requests of our people.

A common project on land protection.

The Govern Balear must provide each island, each council, the support they need to carry out their respective models of environmental protection.

A common project on culture, language and education.

Language and education must no longer be hijacked as motives for clashes and division.

We are a community that welcomes newcomers. Some of our most important values are precisely our language and culture. It is vital that we recognise the importance of our past, because our history is what makes our language and culture what they are today. And it is essential that we recognise: these commonalities serve as a basis for our shared future.

A common project built around people.

Each new facility, each infrastructural change, must serve to improve the quality of life of our people. Infrastructural changes and multimillion euro investments do us no good if their main target isn't to improve the daily reality we face as a people.

Formentera, Eivissa, Menorca and Mallorca... Each with its own identity and all of us working toward a common project.

Each of our islands has got a series of different on-the-ground realities which must be respected and made into advantages. However, environmental protection, defence of our local culture and the quality of life of islanders are goals that MUST BE SHARED.

Thank you very much for your attention

Feliç dia de les Illes Balears! Here's to the success of all our work together!

Susana Labrador
Vice president of the Formentera Council


Slate of activities to help fete Balearic Islands Day

Ball pages 5 vertical moonkoala Dia IllesThe Formentera Department of Festivities has announced plans for Dia de les Illes Balears (Balearic Islands Day) celebrations on Formentera. Department head Susana Labrador declared next Tuesday, 1 March, would be a day replete with activities (think a ceremony at one p.m. on the Sant Francesc square) and festivities, including traditional dance troupes Es Xacoters and Es Pastorells.

Before the midday ceremony and dance display get under way, participants in the Cursa Solidària per a la Dona—a footrace for female solidarity—will take to the blocks for an 11-a.m. start time. Runners will take one of two routes—one 5-km and one 10-km—both of which begin and end at the plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc. Each runner's 10-euro registration fee will go to support the Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC) and entitles participants to a commemorative T-shirt. Signups are being held at the Antoni Blanc fitness centre, the Citizen Information Office (OAC) and on the www.formenteraesport365.com website.

At two o' clock, local groups Disfruta Formentera and Grup Esportiu Espalmador have scheduled a community paella. Prices are set at €15 for adults and €10 for children and proceeds will once again go to benefit the AECC. Island band La 22 will cover the first round of musical duties, a job Councillor Labrador assured the group «has got under control».

Later on, residents will be treated to a concert called «Sons de les Illes». At eight o' clock, a group formed by a string-trio (Kepa Artetxe, Miquel Àngel Aguiló and Xisco Aguiló) and soprano Abigail Sardón will perform arrangements of homegrown popular songs in the Sant Francesc church.

Concurrent concerts across the islands

The councillor of local holidays was especially pleased to announce the simultaneous performances planned for 7:30 p.m., Saturday February 27th, on each of the four islands. In Formentera, Arrels will open the show for Mallorca-native Tomeu Penya and the rest of the islands will follow suit, each hosting an act from a different island, all at the same time. The idea, explained Labrador, is to promote cultural exchanges across the region. Eivissa crowds that evening will be regaled with the show Nits de Formentera.

More activities

Balearic Islands day doesn't end there. Saturday marks the fifth year of the Formentera All Round Trail (abbreviated as FART). The same day will include an open-house at the Formentera hospital and a presentation of the health services helicopter. Sunday the 28th, children aged 6 to 12 are invited to take part in an IBEAM-led discovery workshop of undersea architecture. Monday the 29th basketball teams from the four corners of the region will come together for the fourth Balearic Islands basketball tournament.

Balearic Islands Day celebrations will officially come to a close the weekend of 5-6 March, with two theatre productions to mark the occasion. As Councillor Labrador announced, Saturday the 5th at nine p.m. in the cinema, Eivissa theatre group Es Cubells will treat audiences to Peluts i Pelats (roughly translated as 'The Scruffy and the Shaven'). Then, Sunday the 6th at 5:30 p.m., Clownoscopio will take to the same stage for their performance of the slapstick clown show «Fràgil» for viewers five and under. We remind readers that, as per a joint accord valued at €8,000 and signed by the Palma administration and the Consell de Formentera, costs of the Balearic Islands Day celebrations will be covered by the Govern balear.

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.

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.

Culture takes centre stage in Formentera

PARASCEVEThe Formentera Council office of culture has unveiled its programme of musical and stage productions to be held in the municipal cinema during the first trimester of 2016. As Councillor Susana Labrador, head of the office, explained: «the programme has something for everyone and runs the gamut of styles and forms of artistic expression. Our goal is to put these cultural productions within the reach of Formentera residents, and to put Formentera at centre stage, be it with opera or theatre, children's shows or musicals».

This Saturday, the opera is coming to Formentera

This year, one of the new items on the programme is called Formentera Viu la Òpera. The idea for the project first emerged as one of the many outgrowths of the move to switch to a digital projection system. Viu la Òpera took form as soon as Formentera made the digital leap. «What we wanted was to share a love of this particular art form», Labrador explained, «so we chose a selection of the most representative works in opera and will be projecting them in high definition at the municipal cinema».

At eight p.m. on Saturday 13 February, Aida de Verdi will be leading the charge. Saturday 12 March theatregoers will be treated to Il Barbiere di Siviglia de G. Rossini, a production of the Opéra National de Paris, and on 2 April, Puccini Tosca, a production of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège. Labrador thanked both the Formentera school of music and dance and Josep Tur Ferrer, a grand aficionado, for their support.

Children's shows

Careful not to forget Formentera's younger audiences, organisers have scheduled the space clown duo Pipo y Tiko for 20 February. If one thing is for sure, it's that this fabulous children's production will have audience members singing, dancing and laughing at intergalactic speeds. Adding to the excitement of Balearic Islands Day on Sunday 6 March, Ibiza-based theatre group Clownidoscopio will bring their production Frágil to Formentera audiences. The group describes their most recent family-friendly effort as «a slapstick production with a healthy dose of humour, tenderness and poetry». Then, on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, Es Cirquet de Circ Bové will sail up to Formentera shores, ready to dazzle residents of Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and la Mola with a show awash in magic, juggling and experiments.


Theatre-lovers get their turn on Saturday 5 March with Peludos y Pelados by Eivissa theatre group Es Cubells. This entertaining stage production is set in 1970s Eivissa and premised on an encounter between a local family of farmers and their new neighbours: a group of hippies. On 9 April, audiences will have the opportunity to see the only locally-written production of the 2016 programme: Blai Bonet's Parasceve. Produced by T-Shock, a theatre company in Mallorca, Parasceve is the fascinating story of a family therapist in time of war. Later that same month, on Saturday 23 and Tuesday 26, Espai Frumentaria brings us their most recent endeavour. Perdius combines dance and theatre with a meticulous mise-en-scène.


Everyone holding out for music will get their chance to rock on Saturday 27 February with the Mallorca-based singer-songwriter Tomeu Penya and opening act Eivissencs Rels. On 19 March, André Cebrián and Pedro Mateo González will give a flute and guitar recital.

Talent IB circuit and Platea

Councillor Labrador also spoke about a talent circuit in the Balearic Islands that, with the help of the IEB and the Govern Balear's regional ministry of culture, is aimed at promoting local music and stage productions across the region. This year, Formentera has signed on to the host the talent circuit, she said, as part of our goal to bring quality cultural programming to our local audiences. Formentera welcomes Clownidoscopio (Eivissa), Circ Bové (Mallorca), T-Shock (Mallorca) and singer-songwriter Leonmanso as participants in the Talent IB circuit.

«We have also decided to extend our participation in Platea, a programme of the ministry of culture aimed at promoting and enriching joint productions and exchanges between stage groups». Platea reimburses travel costs for those companies that come to Formentera. Last year four stage productions came to the island as part of Platea. According to Labrador, the 2016 Platea programme will be announced early next month.

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