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Formentera takes steps to make opposing Medsalt acoustic surveys easier

foto tortuga ja arribasThe Formentera environment department reports that the administration will make resources available to anyone wishing to present remarks or critiques about the proposed acoustic surveys by Medsalt. Islanders who visit the CiF environment office at 15 carrer Mallorca in Sant Ferran can fill out and submit comment forms between Tuesday, May 8 and Monday the 21st. Forms can also be presented electronically via the Virtual Citizen's Information Office (OVAC) from Thursday, May 10.

The Council has collectively opposed plans for the project. As part of the administration's April plenary, council members voted to urge Madrid to immediately halt review of Medsalt's proposed initiative based on the potentially devastating impact it could have on adjacent ecosystems. It is believed the plan, if carried out, would have calamitous repercussions on a range of underwater species like cetaceans, turtles, fish, birds and invertebrates.

The idea of making things easier for islanders objecting to the environmentally devastating project arose from local group Aliança Mar Blava and has the backing of the Formentera administration. CiF environment secretary Daisee Aguilera pointed out that “getting islanders involved on this issue is crucial—the more opposition we flag now, the stronger the push to block prospections will become”.

At conference, regional first ministers join chorus of opposition to planned prospections, surveys

Foto conf pres 2018CiF president Jaume Ferrer met today at the Eivissa Council with Balearic chief Francina Armengol and their opposite numbers across the islands.

As attendees prepared to depart, Ferrer described the day as “immensely productive” and confided, “it's always a good thing to sit down with the other first ministers and the regional president and talk about the issues affecting all of us”.

On that note, Ferrer gave voice to concerns surrounding permits for hydrocarbon exploration in local waters. “Formentera is opposed to these projects. We expressed it unanimously in plenary assembly, and encourage our counterparts across the islands to act in kind”, he declared. Put simply, “if we fail to protect our natural surroundings as ecological havens, we can forget about tourism and fishing resources”.

At the meeting's close, attendees formalised their commitment to keeping the Mediterranean free of exploration and surveying. They signed a document urging the Madrid government to join the Balearic administrations in blocking projects which stand to jeopardise nearby marine wildlife and the Mediterranean Sea at large.

Council finds steady ground for 85 long-term temp workers

Consell i placa constitucioThe human resources department of the Formentera Council reports that 85 individuals retained by the administration as public servants, albeit temporarily, will see their contracts become permanent now that they can attest to two years of uninterrupted employment.

The contractual retooling has been progressive, with contracts being rewriting individual contracts as expiry dates loomed. In the months ahead they intend to follow the model until the 12 remaining regularitzacions can take place, ultimately eliminating long-haul temporary employment contracts from the administration's playbook altogether.

The effort arose from a measure adopted in a plenary assembly December 16, 2016, when a cabinet proposal to make the change netted unanimous support.

Approval finally became a reality some months after a September 14 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that termination packages for long-haul contracts were equivalent to those for permanent staff.

In the words of Vanessa Parellada, the CiF's secretary of social welfare, youth services and human resources, the change “adds security, quality and more expansive rights to those enjoyed by our administration's public servants”.

New sabbatical rights
One result of the measure is that workers previously ineligible for extended leave will now be eligible thanks to the change. To date, 12 temporary employees whose time on the Council's payroll exceeded two years have already availed themselves of this new right.

Normal vehicle traffic to resume in Sant Ferran as crews finish work

Obres gmontgri acabadesFormentera's infrastructure office reports that with road work complete, motorists in Sant Ferran can once again travel the northern stretch of a nearby arterial from this Saturday morning.

Upgrades this winter along carrer Guillem de Montgrí were seen as pro-pedestrian and a boost to local business. Crews eliminated a gaping height difference between the pavement and street and widened the pavements themselves. They also put in place new signage and painted lines on the road surface to reflect the town's new metred parking. That system, expected to alleviate the town's parking crunch, will take effect in June.

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