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Christmas shop window contest enters eleventh year

Fotos be formentera 2n premiThe Formentera Council and the local chamber of commerce handed out prizes today in the island's contest of Christmas shop window displays. For the eleventh year, the administration crowned business-owners for standout efforts to decorate their shop windows, an effort to get out the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

A jury including Enric Riera, a painter and art teacher at Marc Ferrer high school, the CiF culture department's Amalia Mora and Alvaro Mendoza, president of the local artists' association, considered imagination, originality and creativity in the Christmas window displays at the following establishments:

-First prize: Administració de Loteria
-Second prize: Be Formentera
-Third prize: Casa Ortega

Cash prizes —€225 for first place, €150 for second and €75 for third— and plaques were delivered by CiF tourism and trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer and Juan Manuel Costa, president of the island's chamber of commerce.

Formentera observes International Day of People with Disabilities

Foto presentacio cartell discapacitatDetails of the plan to observe International Day of People with Disabilities this Sunday, December 3, were unveiled today. Vanessa Parellada, the island's social welfare secretary; Marta Uriarte, the director of the Formentera Day Centre; Camila Tessio, a psychologist at APNEEF, a special needs group for residents of Eivissa and Formentera; and Núria Alandes, head of a group called APMIPTEA that promotes the inclusion of people living with Autism spectrum disorders, seized on a crafts display as the perfect opportunity to present the poster for International Day of People with Disabilities.

From 11.00am to 1.00pm today in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, a group of adults enrolled at Formentera's day centre for persons with disabilities and the elderly will exhibit ashtrays made of repurposed bottles, aromatic soaps, sponges and massage oils with rosemary, all fruits of workshops held at the centre.

Charity walk
Tomorrow, December 2, the island will host the first-ever Caminada Solidària, “to bring visibility,” explained Parellada, “to the island's community of people with disabilities”. At 11.00am participants of the “Charity Walk” will set out from jardí de ses Eres on a two-kilometre circuit, which according to the secretary has been specially tuned for walkers of all abilities “in an effort to make the event inclusive”. “One of the top priorities at Formentera's day centre is the integration of those who use its services,” said Parellada. The last to make it to the finish line are expected to arrive by 1.00pm, where they will be greeted with an array of snacks at jardí de ses Eres. Advance registration for the walk is not required.

Then, on December 3, the two associations, APNEEF and APMIPTEA, will man information booths between 11.00am and 1.00pm in plaça de la Constitució, offering information about their activities and programmes on the island.

Formentera Council's plenary assembly makes cross-party plea for constitutional tweaks to assign senator to island

Votacio senador propiIn a one-off plenary session convened today, members of the Formentera Council voted unanimously to petition the Balearic legislature to ask the Congress of Deputies to explicitly change article 69.3 of Spain's Constitution in order to allow Formentera to choose its own senator, separate from Eivissa's. Local lawmakers are able to pursue the effort thanks to the so-called “council law” and the Balearic Islands' Statute of Autonomy, which empowers island councils to petition Congress via mediation provided by the regional parliament.

The proposed redrafting of article 69.3 of the Spanish Constitution, which also includes substituting the “and” between “Eivissa and Formentera” for a comma, reads as follows: “In the island territories, every island with cabildo or council shall represent its own constituency requiring its own elected senator or senators. For the larger islands (Gran Canaria, Mallorca and Tenerife) these shall number three, and on Eivissa, Formentera, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote, Menorca and La Palma, one”.

The changes also entail the following: removal of the word insular from the designation of the councils (article 141.4 of the Constitution does not in fact prescribe its use), leaving the public administrations to be known simply as “councils;” alphabetised ordering of the islands in both the Balearics and the Canary Islands; and, in keeping with the Canary Islands' Statute of Autonomy, correct use of determining articles in the case of La Gomera and El Hierro.

Long-standing plea
Arguing the current request is in fact not new, president's office secretary Bartomeu Escandell pointed out that “Formentera is the only island in the country that shares a senator with another island”. The petition was first made in 2004, he said, when the plenary assembly of Formentera's local government (formerly an “ajuntament”) unanimously passed a similar motion on August 20, 2004. The call has been renewed on multiple occasions, including at a spokespersons' committee earlier this year, when members crossed party lines to back the current measure.

Escandell said the current political climate is ideal for the change to be made, noting that the two leading national parties, the Popular Party and the PSOE, agree that a constitutional rewrite is necessary. The secretary called it “a one of a kind opportunity for this broad-based and legitimate local plea”.

Formentera presents 'Compra a Casa' Christmas campaign

Foto presentacio campanya compra a casa 2017At noon today, officials of the Formentera Council and representatives of the small and medium-sized business association of Eivissa and Formentera congregated to unveil a special buy-local push this Christmas season. “Compra a Casa” was presented today in the administration's hall of ceremonies by trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer, department specialist Amalia Mora, and PIMEF's president and managing director, Pep Mayans and Lidia Álvarez.

According to Ferrer, 31 local businesses have signed on since the campaign's launch in December of last year, and 1,060 Formentera shoppers have received associated Compra a Casa loyalty cards, which offer consumers big discounts. The programme, she explained, is about supporting independent businesses on the island and enlisting both shoppers and merchants in bringing local streets to life.

Buying local pays off
Two measures have been rolled out as part of the buy-local push. The first, “Al Nadal Compra a Casa” (Buy local this Christmas), rewards shoppers for buying at participating stores with €200, €100 and €50 Compra a Casa gift cards for the first-, second- and third-place winners. The drawing will take place on Tuesday, January 10, 2018.

With the second measure, “Anar al Mercat de Nadal té premi” (The Christmas Market pays off), shoppers get a ticket for every €15 spent at the Christmas Market, making shoppers eligible for a raffle of five €100 Compra a Casa gift cards. The Christmas Market starts tomorrow at 5.30pm. From December 1 to January 7, shops will be open from 11.00am to 3.00pm and 5.00pm to 12 midnight.

Details
PIMEF's director Lidia Álvarez explained that in 2017, Formentera residents spent €717,423.86 at participating Compra a Casa businesses. That added up to €14,716 in discounts.

Black Friday
Last week on the island, Black Friday was observed with a special addition to the Compra a Casa initiative. All day long, purchases over €15 at member businesses qualified shoppers to win a €50 gift card. The winner, announced today by the president of PIMEF, was José Ramón Mateos. Formentera consumers spent €9,766 in participating shops on Black Friday.

How to get the card.
Compra a Casa loyalty cards are available at any one of the following partner adherent businesses:
SUPERMERCADO OFIUSA, SUPERMERCADO ES CAP, SUPERMERCADO LA SAVINA, SUPERMERCADO BTQ, SUPERMERCADO AVENIDA, MAQUINARIA HOSTELERIA CASA ORTEGA, LLIBRERIAS I PAPERERIAS TUR FERRER, INSAFOR, INSAFOR ALMACEN, ZAPATERIA STRIVANCUS, INSTALACIONES JODAR, CARPINTERIA FORMENTERA, MUEBLES CARLOS, PINTURAS CABEZUELO, FLORISTERIA FORMENTERA, ANDOR INFORMATICA, DETALLS NOU ESTIL, ECOFOR, RTE.ES MARES, DEPORTES PITIUSA, CASA PAYA, CASA PAYA GARDEN, ES BROLLS MOTOS, PETROFOR REPSOL, SALON BSB, INSTALACIONES MAGU, MODAS FERRER, APP FORMENTERA, BE FORMETNERA, PESCADERIA FEDERICO I CORALL VERMELL.

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