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Formentera asks for stricter controls to ensure compliance with Covid measures

foto 2020 reunio seguretat brot 2Amid a rise in cases of islanders affected by Covid-19, a special emergency meeting was held today to coordinate controls and inspection operations by security forces like Formentera Local Police, Civil Guard and emergency response services of the Govern balear.

The gathering was attended by Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer, vice-president and trade councillor Ana Juan, interior councillor Josep Marí, inspection services councillor Antonio J. Sanz, FLP chief Félix Ramos and representatives of the Civil Guard and regional emergency response service.

President Ferrer expressed her concern over seven new local infections that brought the total number of individuals on the island affected by Covid to 26, up from seven two days ago. The individuals in question, all of whom either display mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, are receiving at-home care from healthcare workers.

Given the current state of play and predictions that Covid cases will continue to multiply, President Ferrer said the Consell had asked security forces to “coordinate and tighten controls and educational efforts, particularly in enclosed spaces like retail outlets and restaurants and outdoor areas like parks, plazas and beaches, in order to ensure strict compliance with local public health measures”.

Ferrer said that later today the Consell would ask the regional government about a change in the response level, or tougher measures before the Christmas holiday, “in an effort to contain the virus right now”.

Updating protocol
Setting out to reduce spread of the virus as much as possible, attendees of the internal working meeting revised protocol and safety measures in place at gatherings which are hosted by local government and Consell-backed sporting events.

The president additionally announced that the Formentera Mostra de Músics originally set to take place at 6.00pm tomorrow (Friday 18 December) and 12 noon on Sunday the 20th would be postponed due to the public health situation. The Consell de Formentera and Musical Formentera opted to suspend the programme as several members of participating bands had been in close contact with the individuals who contracted the disease.

Ferrer also appealed for “careful monitoring” to make sure that the close contacts in question respected quarantine orders.

Finally, the president called on islanders to “be responsible. This is a very complex situation and we need to work together. We hope that when the vaccine arrives we’ll be able to put this behind us, but it’s important we all make it through this, each and every one of us”.

17 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Alejandra Ferrer urges islanders to double down on Covid-19 precautions

President calls meeting tomorrow Thursday to coordinate safety response

Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer has asked island residents to intensify Covid-19- related precautions. Pointing to the discovery of 11 local cases, Ferrer asserted, “Now more than ever, we need to be extremely strict about respecting public health measures”.

New Covid infections had progressively fallen since the end of summer, with the island reporting a five-day stretch of zero cases from 2 December. But the Consell has insisted the island keep its collective guard up since the crisis began, reiterating that Formentera’s flatlining case count didn’t mean islanders were free to forget about the pandemic. “At the present moment Covid still claims hundreds of lives every day and continues its inexorable march across the planet”, said the president.

Infections have been up since 7 December, coinciding with the long weekend early in the month. “Yesterday, 15 December, we had 7 active cases”, said Ferrer, “and with the latest flare-up, we’re at 19, including one newly hospitalised individual and two freshly declared infections. So I’m issuing a special plea to the island as a whole: now is no time to relax.”

Gathering of security forces
The president has announced an emergency meeting on safety for 1.00pm tomorrow, Thursday 17 December, to coordinate control operations and inspections among security forces like Formentera Local Police, the Civil Guard and regional emergency response teams. Local police have additionally prepared a strategy to tighten controls and ensure protocol compliance at indoor spaces and public areas.

“These are unique circumstances and they run counter to how we normally function as a collective, particularly with Christmas on the horizon. But remember, more than gathering for the holidays, what’s important is that we’re all in good health for celebrations still to come. The public health situation has gotten worse since the long weekend and, if things continue, we’re not ruling out the option of urgently calling for more restrictive protocol before Christmas.”

Lastly, Ferrer voiced her hope that the islanders infected with Covid-19 —currently at home with mild symptoms or asymptomatic— recover quickly, and she asked that those individuals’ close contacts help curb further spread by respecting preventive measures and quarantine orders.

16 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Letter regarding inter-island controls


Madame President,

The approaching holidays will mean a marked increase in mobility, not just between the Balearic Islands and mainland Spain, but between the islands too — a situation quite similar to the one expected with the long weekend in early December.

Several days ago you proposed implementing from 20 December various controls (PCR screenings at points of departure, antigen tests at ports and airports) on visitors to the Balearics. The subject of inter-island travellers, however, was left unmentioned.

The current situation is different on each island, and we know that the smallest of actions can carry drastic consequences.

For example, many teachers on Formentera hail from assorted corners of Mallorca, a place at high risk of Covid-19 infections. Should these teachers spend the holidays with their families —a decision that would be entirely understandable and deserving of our respect— the fallout from returning Covid-19 cases that elude detection and tracing could be disastrous. Considering teachers’ contact with Formentera children, the situation could set off an avalanche of outbreaks. On a small island like ours and given the healthcare infrastructure we share with Eivissa, the effects would be difficult to gauge or contain.

The same would occur when individuals who study on Mallorca came to Formentera spend the holidays with their families, or when their families went to visit them.

These are but two examples that illustrate our current situation, and they could be extrapolated across the Balearic Islands.

So we at the Consell de Formentera wish to express our concern. In order to guarantee everyone’s right to a safe return, control measures for inter-island travellers must be identical to those applied to travellers from outside the region.

Travel within the region is envisaged under emergency orders, but high case counts on particular islands warrant a volunteer system of controls to stem inter-island spread of Covid-19.

And so, Balearic residents who stay more than 72 hours on an island with over 150 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants should be able to opt for free, scheduled screenings, the same as those offered during the long weekend earlier this month.

On Formentera we’ve always asked that measures be commensurate to our situation, and that doesn’t mean forgetting the solidarity that’s now more vital than ever. The curfew was our occasion to demonstrate just how seriously we take this cohesion. Today we are in phase one of lockdown, but the situation could change from one day to the next. Timely preventive measures are our primary means of making sure it doesn’t.

The Consell de Formentera is at your service for any collaboration we can offer.


Alejandra Ferrer Kirschbaum
President, Consell Insular de Formentera

Regional budget for 2021 includes over €18M for Formentera

foto 2020 pressu caibA presentation of the Balearic government’s 2021 spending plan was attended earlier today by Consell premiere Alejandra Ferrer; Balearic tax office and foreign relations minister Rosario Sánchez; president’s office, culture and equality minister Pilar Costa and spending director Joan Ignasi Morey. Other Formentera officials also on hand were economy, tax office and general services councillor Bartomeu Escandell and the island’s three deputy premieres: Ana Juan, Susana Labrador and Rafael Ramírez. The press conference was preceded by a working meeting.

The officials highlighted nearly €16.1 million expected to benefit Formentera under the new plan. Half that figure —€8.8M in current transfers and €3.3M in capital transfers— will go directly to the Consell. 2021 investment from the Balearic ministries and public-sector firms and entities in the region approach €4M. And, during the regional parliament’s review of the budget, an additional €2.3M in additional investment was unlocked thanks to amendments proposed by provincial deputy Sílvia Tur.

In the words of President Ferrer, “with all the uncertainty in 2020, government must join in common cause to help vulnerable people, families and businesses and those the crisis has hit the hardest”. She also underscored the importance of renewing “safeguards for the land and environment”.

Among the leading Govern-funded projects, President Ferrer pointed up plans for new low-cost housing in Sant Ferran, earth-smart upgrades and the future museum of Formentera, about which she added, “We’ve no time to lose”. Ferrer additionally underscored pledges made in the past by Madrid and Palma to unlock funding to retrofit the island’s established tourism hubs, and appealed to use European Union funds to finance phase two of refurbishments in Es Pujols.

Rosario Sánchez pointed out that the budget —the current administration’s second and the first since the outbreak of the pandemic which, in Sánchez’s words, “has shaken our world and community”— offers “stability and confidence” in a moment of uncertainty, and is marked by “exceptional political will” in the face of this “emergency situation”.

The regional chiefs described the most substantive areas of planned local investment as the environment and hydraulic facilities, including a €0.5M pilot deposit-return system for single-use recipients; new projects to expand and upgrade Formentera’s water treatment plant; work on the sewage pipe of the local desalination plant; improvements on wastewater pumping station pipes.

Agricultural initiatives include infrastructure-enhancing sustainable irrigation project powered by reclaimed water and EU funding to the tune of €600,000 from 2021 to 2023. There is also money to defray operational costs at slaughterhouses.

Construction of 12 units of low-cost housing in Sant Ferran is expected to start in early 2021.

The regional health authority has indicated that 2021 will also see the start of work to equip Formentera with an 061 emergency response service. Among the three mobile on-call units there will be one ambulance to provide basic support, another for advanced support and a third unit for scheduled non-emergency transfers of patients. One-point-two million euros have already been set aside for the project, which could be expanded moving forward.

The energy transition and innovation figure prominently among projected investment too. There are subsidies for investments in solar panels at government buildings, in energy communities, for business and to pay for improvements at municipal markets. Additional spending is planned for the Foundation for the Formentera Museum and Cultural Centre, the Formentera Museum and celebrations on Balearic Islands Day.

10 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Discurs Dia de la Constitució

foto 2020 dia constitucioAlejandra Ferrer
Presidenta del Consell de Formentera

Bon dia,

Avui és dia festiu a tot l’Estat espanyol, el Dia de la Constitució, perquè commemorem la seva aprovació per referèndum el 6 de desembre de 1978.

El text definitiu que avui coneixem va ser proposat, debatut i esmenat en un procés constituent. A ningú se li escapa que la majoria de les constitucions neixen en períodes històrics de crisi, l’esperit constitucional, que tan sovint sentim defensar, era un anhel en un moment convuls de deixar enrere la dictadura franquista i construir un estat democràtic modern.

Va néixer com una ferramenta de cohesió, que havia de possibilitar la igualtat de les persones i dels territoris.

Si en moments tan delicats hi va haver la voluntat i capacitat política per arribar a acords, decep profundament que en dies com avui, on la solidaritat esdevé imprescindible, no siguem capaços d’afrontar els debats urgents i necessaris que segueixen tenint vigència, i ens escudem en la complexitat dels consensos.

La generació que ens va precedir va preveure els mecanismes per a la seva reforma, perquè una constitució és la màxima llei escrita de l’ordenament jurídic, i com a tal fixa les regles del joc, si volem seguir l’esperit amb el que es va crear i ser un estat democràtic modern també haurem de permetre el desenvolupament d’aquest joc i l’adaptació del text constitucional als temps que corren i a les noves necessitats de la ciutadania.

Per aquesta raó, entre les mandats de la Constitució als poders públics, volem destacar el de facilitar la participació de la ciutadania i per exercir aquest dret fonamental, els poders públics han de promoure les condicions i remoure els obstacles, es vital que tota la ciutadania ens impliquem en el debat sobre el model d’estat que volem.

La Constitució i totes les lleis que d’ella emanin han de fer valer els valors democràtics, han de proclamar:
- la voluntat de garantir la convivència democràtica i de les lleis conforme a un ordre econòmic i social just;
- de protegir els ciutadans i pobles d’Espanya en l’exercici dels drets humans, les seves cultures, tradicions, llengües i institucions;
- de promoure el progrés de la cultura i de l’economia per assegurar una qualitat de vida digna;
- i d’establir una societat democràtica avançada.

El 2020 ha estat un any on una pandèmia mundial ens ha portat una crisi sanitària sense precedents, que ha portat aparellada una crisi econòmica i social molt profunda, que si no la combatem decididament, ens portarà un retrocés en les condicions de vida digna.

Unes condicions de vida digna que al nostre estat, ja presentaven un índex de desigualtat creixent que la darrer crisi econòmica havia agreujat.

Els objectius de desenvolupament sostenible, social i mediambiental, que suposen una agenda comuna als desafiaments mundials als que ens enfrontem globalment, posava la salut i just després l’educació, com a objectius prioritaris, només superats per l’eradicació de la pobresa i la fam.

El Consell Insular de Formentera acaba d’aprovar uns pressupostos que s’han posat al servei d’aquests objectius.

En l’agenda del debat sobre la vigència i novetats que ha de contemplar el text constitucional existeixen temes que afecten profundament a la nostra illa.

El senador o senadora escollit per i des de Formentera, podria vetllar pels efectes de qualsevol norma sobre la nostra illa.

L’article 43 és on es reconeix el dret a la protecció de la salut, i on s’estableix que correspon als poders públics organitzar i tutelar la salut pública a través de mesures preventives i a través de les prestacions i dels serveis necessaris.

El dret social a la salut, com el de l’educació i l’habitatge, es troben al capítol tercer, el que significa que es desenvoluparan d’acord amb el que disposin les respectives lleis, esdevenen només principis rectors de la política social i econòmica, haurien d’estar blindats com a drets fonamentals.

Si aquesta constatació, en un any com el actual, resulta sagnant no ho és menys la plasmació del mapa competencial, el model de distribució competencial es deixa en mans dels estatuts, i ja coneixem tots com ha estat de cru el debat sobre el que pot legislar cada estatut.

La institució del Consell de Formentera neix de un canvi i millora estatutari.

L’estat de les autonomies, el reconeixement a la varietat territorial, és consubstancial al nostre model democràtic, però no hem aconseguit desenvolupar-lo amb normalitat i fluïdesa i és font inacabable de conflicte i descontent.

I aquesta pandèmia i la seva gestió també ha fet paleses la feblesa d’una articulació fluida i exitosa de les polítiques de tots els nivells de govern de l’Estat, no es podia entendre des de Formentera que amb les mesures preses i els graus de incidència, a la primera onada no poguéssim desplaçar-nos a atendre l’hort, o passejar pels nostres espais naturals.

Perquè la igualtat no pot equivaldre a homogeneïtat, no podem entendre la política com un arma homogeneïtzadora, sinó com a correctora de desigualtats mitjançant les decisions polítiques.

És en aquest debat on s’inscriu la històrica reivindicació del Règim Especial de les Illes Balears a l’Estat. S’han d’establir mesures i contemplar recursos per combatre els efectes de la insularitat.

I aquesta reclamació tan justa que fem a l’Estat l’hem d’aplicar als pressupostos autonòmics, essent sensible als desequilibris entre illes en l’accés als serveis públics.

Aquesta crisi ha afectat amb cruesa a la nostra comunitat però també de forma específica i diferenciada a cadascuna de les nostres illes.

Davant el desafiament de primer ordre que se’ns planteja: els medicaments, les proves i vacunes per a la covid-19, que salvaran milions de vides, no haurien de ser un luxe per a ningú.

Vull aprofitar novament en nom de tota la corporació per felicitar a tota la ciutadania de Formentera per a la seva actitud responsable, la nostra solidaritat amb els professionals de la salut que assisteixen amb esgotament i impotència al deteriorament de l’atenció primària.

La pandèmia ha posat en valor dos aspectes clau la interdependència i la importància del sector públic.

El servei públic i universal de salut i la gestió coordinada per part de les institucions de l’Estat de les mesures a prendre en matèria de salut pública, en situació de pandèmia, ha esdevingut una prova de foc de la potència i fragilitat del nostre sistema polític,  la seva capacitat de cohesionar i a l’hora gestionar amb eficiència les necessitats de tots i totes per no deixar ningú desatès.

No existeix major reconeixement al text constitucional que seguir treballant a diari pel benestar i qualitat de vida de formenterers i formentereres, en coordinació i lleialtat amb la resta d’administracions de l’Estat, però defensant a l’hora, totes les nostres peculiaritats i necessitats com a poble.

Formentera, 6 de desembre de 2020

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