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Consell orders probe after historical heritage sites vandalised

The Patrimony department of the Consell de Formentera has initiated an administrative inquiry into damages in recent weeks to a number of the island's historical heritage sites. Recent weeks, which have seen vandals paint the outer walls of the can Ramon building, have also come with the theft of pieces of drystone wall in es cap de Barbaria.

As the title-holder of can Ramon, the Consell is planning on taking the case to the Civil Guard so that a criminal investigation can be opened.

The cultural heritage branch of the Consell condemns the events and wishes to offer its support to affected property-owners. The administration also wants to remind all islanders of our obligation to respect, protect and preserve the island's cultural heritage in order for future generations to enjoy it too. Legislation, Decree 12/1998 (21 December), was enacted to protect the historic heritage of the Balearic Islands.

Pursuant to the decree, articles 321-324 of the Penal Code call for punishments of between 6 months and 3 years of prison, and fines of up to sixty thousand euros, for causing damages to any site deemed valuable from a historical, artistic, scientific, or cultural standpoint, or in its service as a monument.

Protected features
Can Ramon is listed with level C protection in the island's catalogue of cultural heritage sites.

Traditional techniques for building drystone (pedra seca) walls are part of Formentera's intangible cultural heritage. In 2018, Formentera joined other regions of Spain and countries of Europe in including them on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Locally, article 63 of the island's Territorial Strategy (Pla Territorial), recognises these walls' value as ethnographic artefacts, and requires that homes built in rural areas include efforts to maintain and reconstruct such walls as well as any building features using stone.

In varying forms and with varying degrees of protection, Can Ramon and traditional drystone walls both form part of the cultural heritage of Formentera.

11 July 2019
Communication department
Consell de Formentera

Local police protect public health and take aim at itinerant selling

Last night, local law enforcement agents arrested a man they accused of committing a public health offence. The arresting officers were on the night beat in Sant Ferran, along with a canine unit, when they spotted a man who, seeing them, became nervous and attempted to flee the scene. A search by the canine unit turned up positive, and ten grams of cocaine and €400 in cash were seized. The suspect, a 32-year-old Morrocan national, was detained and subsequently taken to local offices of the Guardia Civil.

Itinerant vending
During the high season months, Formentera Local Police periodically conduct patrols on island beaches to combat itinerant vending. In the first week of July, similar charges were brought in 43 cases—39 charges involved individuals caught selling, 2 involved individuals found with material intended for sale, and 2 involved sellers caught in dune regeneration areas of ses Salines nature reserve. The final 2 cases will be passed along to the Govern balear.

Law enforcement agents have so far confiscated roughly one thousand items, including 415 pieces of fruit and more than 200 pieces of clothing.

10 July 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Formentera hosts Sant Jaume celebration full of all-age activities

festes-de-sant-jaume-2018 ball1The Formentera Council Office of Culture wishes to unveil the St James' Day programme (Sant Jaume, as he is known in Catalan, is also Formentera's patron saint). Calling the holiday “a day for islanders”, culture councillor Susana Labrador described the wide-ranging 11-27 July activities calendar as “offering culture, music and fitness to islanders young and old, and to tourists, too”.

Diada de Formentera
The holiday, dubbed the Diada de Formentera (“Day of Formentera”) and celebrated every year on 25 July, starts with an 8.00pm Mass at the Sant Francesc church. Immediately after, local troupes will offer a demonstration of traditional ball pagès dance. Passersby can then munch on a hometown favourite, orelletes. “There's no better time to honour our home-spun traditions”, quipped Councillor Labrador.

Cultural activities
All of Sant Francesc will don a festive veneer for a diverse spread of happenings and events. The programme kicks off Tuesday July 11 with Fils Roulants and Espai_F's stage production of Piel. What has been described as the piece's “feedback loop of movement, the soundscape and voice” produces an atmosphere that feels suspended in time, and those in the audience can dive right in. Nightly performances take place between 11-18 July (9.00pm, Thursday to Thursday) in the sala de Cultura.

Activities continue on Monday 15 July with the opening of an exhibition from Erwin Broner in the Ajuntament Vell gallery. The display contains works left to Catalina Verdera Ribas by Gisela Broner. To celebrate the opening, violinist Lina Tur will give a performance from 6.30pm in the Sant Francesc church.

The exhibit is split across two spaces: the Ajuntament Vell gallery will accommodate drawings and works of art on paper, and the gallery of la Mola lighthouse will house the artist's paintings. The Erwin Broner exhibit is presented by Espai_F.

July 24 ceremony
Honorary distinctions will be handed out July 24 from 8.30pm in a ceremony at the municipal cinema (sala de Cultura).

Kids' calendar
In Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució from 7.00pm on Saturday 20 July, youngsters will have a ball with Majorcan troupe Mel i Sucre's newest production, De Colors. It's music to dream to, laugh to, dance to ... play, sing, listen, share, imagine, create and be happy to! For all ages!

From 8.00pm in the square, kids can attend a workshop where they can gear up for the Flower Power. Mel i Sucre are hosting the children's party—Flower Infantil—and it starts at 9.00pm.

In Jardí de ses Eres at 7.00pm on Tuesday 23 July, Dudu Arnalot will present Insomni. The wordless production mixing clownery and physical theatre is for all audiences.

On the evening of Friday the 26th, the island's younger music-buffs have Nit Jove (Youth Night) to look forward to. Staged at Sant Francesc's central plaza, the event will feature the sounds of MCKea and Musica urbana, the dance moves of Zoocreative and Danscape, a performance by Tio de la Careta and plenty of rock, funk, ska and reggae to close out the night.

Sport looms large in the island's patron saint celebrations, too. Take for instance the tennis and padel tournaments on the municipal pitch from 18-21 July, or a demonstration, by participants in the island's synchronised swim camp, before spectators at the Poliesportiu Antoni Blanc pool on Saturday the 27th.

Live music and concerts (20, 24, 25 and 27 July)
As ever, music is at the heart of Sant Jaume celebrations. The highly anticipated Formentera Flower (the “Power” familiar to English-speaking audiences is typically dropped) will take over Sant Francesc's central square on Saturday the 20th. Then, on Wednesday 24 July, globally renowned Majorcan indie-rock band The Prussians will perform in concert. Next up is rumba group Gertrudis. Over the last fifteen years, these natives of la Garriga, in Catalonia, have been working their way to the top of Spain's fusion music scene. Sidonie Dj set will wrap up the evening set with dance music tunes from the sixties to today.

Sant Jaume's true headliners come through the nit (“eve”) of the holiday, Thursday 25 July. The Andrea Motis Trio is the jazz ensemble of trumpeter-singer-songwriter (and titan on the Spanish scene) Andrea Motis. Sopa de Cabra are scheduled to wind things down. The group is headed by Gerard Quintana has been performing since 1986. They are currently preparing for a stint in the studio.

On the 27-July edition of Jazz a la plaça, audiences will get to hear Oh no Trio!, with Gerard Gusé on guitar, Geovanny Perez on bass, and Luis Amado on drums.

Sant Jaume, sustainably
This year's Sant Jaume celebrations are more sustainable. The Formentera Council has teamed up with Plastic-Free Formentera to help islanders cut their use of single-use plastics. Two locally-sourced water fountains will be installed on the premises so revellers can get water at no charge and at no cost to the environment.

The councillor also talked about a push to educate islanders about recycling and reusing drinks glasses made of plastic. A poster reading “Recycling is in your hands” will be placed at each bar where reusable glasses are sold—said Councillor Labrador, “to encourage people to take their glasses home or to dispose of them in recycling bins, so we don't generate more waste”.

Labrador thanked Plastic-Free Formentera and other groups working to put an end to plastics. She also thanked the event's other sponsors, particularly Trasmapi, for the transport company's support of festivities and local culture.

9 July 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Formentera Council christens fresh configurationon

ple2019-1-Today, the first full-house assembly of a dawning legislative session of the Formentera Council came with confirmation of a newly configured organisational structure and the roster of councilmembers set to head administration departments.

A coalition between Gent per Formentera (GxF) and the Socialist Worker's Party (PSIB-PSOE), the governing team is composed of Alejandra Ferrer (president and councillor of planning and tourism), Ana Juan (vice-president and councillor of housing, trade and entrepreneurship), Susana Labrador (deputy vice-president and councillor of culture and education), Rafael Ramírez (associate vice-president and councillor of social welfare, governance and transparency), Bartomeu Escandell (economy, tax office and general services councillor), Antonio Sanz (environment and inspection services), Rafael González (mobility and land), Raquel Guasch (patrimony, language policies and training), Josep Marí (infrastructure, primary sector and interior), Vanessa Parellada (youth services, citizen participation, new technologies, equality and LGTBI) and Paula Ferrer (sport, human resources and island services).

Of the new governing team's 11 consellers, or “councillors”, six belong to GxF (spokesperson: Bartomeu Escandell) and five to PSIB-PSOE Formentera (spokesperson: Rafael Ramírez). The opposition party, Sa Unió de Formentera, is a coalition of the People's Party (PP) and Compromís that comprises Lorenzo Córdoba (spokesperson), Ana Negre, Verónica Castelló, Javier Serra, Cristina Costa and Óscar Portas.

Appointed positions were announced as well, including chief of tourism promotions Carlos Bernús, communications chief Elena Trinidad and president's office secretary Isabel Juan.

Councilmembers were united in their backing of a motion to set plenary sessions at 9.00am on the last Friday of every month.

Wage structure
With “yes” votes from the governing team and despite the abstention of Sa Unió, councilmembers granted approval to proposed governing team remuneration, compensation for session attendance and political party allowances.

Wages for the full-time offices of the president, vice-presidents and councillors are identical to the previous term. The president receives €52,950.00 in gross yearly compensation, the vice-presidents receive €51,400.00 and five councillors with full-time positions receive €50,300.00. Councillor Raquel Guasch, who is on a 10-hour per week scheme, will earn €13,413.33 in annual pay.

Assemblymembers approved a €34,794.79 pay arrangement for Sa Unió Formentera's (maximum two) designated full-time or part-time opposition councillors. Councillors without a pay arrangement will receive €200 for attending ordinary and extraordinary sessions of the Formentera Council plenary assembly, and €120 to attend gatherings of advisory committees.

With the support of the governing team and despite a “no” from the opposition, assemblymembers passed a wages plan covering €42,000.00 for the chief of tourism promotions, €35,000.00 for the communications chief and €30,000.00 for the secretary of the president's office.

8 July 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

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