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Formentera Police's permanent roster grows by four

Foto policia localThe president's office of the Formentera Council announced the addition today of four permanent officers to the island's local police force. Administration president Jaume Ferrer saluted the efforts of the new employees, who successfully submitted to a series of trials in the process. The expansion, a bid by Formentera Local Police to consolidate its ranks, puts the force's current number of officers at 13.

Balearic holiday boasts entertainment for young and old

Colles de ball dia de les illesEarlier today the Formentera Council's Offices of Culture and Holidays unveiled their programme for Balearic residents' annual celebration of the region, Dia de les Illes Balears. Department head Susana Labrador said the holiday (alternately referred to as “la Diada”) would happen Tuesday March 1, with the administration hosting its official observance at 1.00pm in Sant Francesc's main square, plaça de la Constitució. Onlookers will be treated to performances by traditional dance troupes Es Xacoters and Es Pastorells and a selection of favourites from local cuisine will be served by the Es Forn gastronomic association.

The starting shot of the third Cursa de la Dona walk/run will be fired earlier that same day — at 11.00am for runners and an hour later for walkers. Participants will set off on a 5 or 10k circuit which starts from and loops back to plaça de la Constitució. Money raised through collections of the €10 registration fee will be channeled to the AECC, Spain's anti-cancer association. Participants will also be given a T-shirt at signup. From 2.00pm there will be a community paella, €10 for adults and €5 for kids.

Storytelling
Diada-related events will begin popping up as early as tomorrow. From 6.00pm on Thursday February 23, the Marià Villangómez library in Sant Francesc will host an evening of storytelling called “El gegant d'Es Vedrà”. The following Thursday will see another storytelling session, this time on Equality, in the Sant Ferran library at 5.00pm.

Simultaneous concerts across the Balearics
On Saturday February 25, Marcel Cranc and Quin Delibat! will head up performances at Centre Antoni Tur Gabrielet. The show starts at 9.00pm and snacks will be offered between concerts. Each of the four islands will host a visiting Balearic act in a bid to promote musical and cultural exchange among the islands.

Basketball tournament
The fifth Balearic Islands' basketball tournament, sponsored by Trasmapi, will take place between Tuesday February 28 and March 1. Teams from all across the region will take part in the event, which will also serve as a backdrop for a training course for aspiring coaches.

Theatre
The weekend of March 4 and 5 is one of theatre for all ages. Saturday March 4 at 9.00pm, Somnis Produccions will perform “Un tramvia anomenat desig” (“A Streetcar named Desire” in English) to the crowd at the local cinema. Admission to the 60-minute show is five euros or three euros for spectators under 25. “Els Músics de Bremen” (“Town Musicians of Bremen”), by the Musics Viatgers theatre company, is scheduled for 6.00pm in the cinema. Fifty-five minutes in length, that performance is free and recommend for children three and up.

Through plenary, Council will ask Madrid to remove barriers to refugee reception

Foto patxi galanAccording to the Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare, a plenary meeting this Friday February 24 will involve an official statement from the administration urging fewer obstacles to incoming refugees. Drafted by political groups Gent per Formentera and PSOE, the document airs concerns over the desperate situation of Syrians displaced by war in their country, a conflict now in its fifth year. The text also highlights, explained social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada, Spain's refusal to meet intake quotas for asylum seekers set by the European Union in 2016.

The manifesto decries “Europe's failure to provide an adequate response to refugees. Efforts till now have centred on policing our own borders and turning Europe into a fortress. The result is that hundreds of thousands of people are forced to risk their lives on perilous land or sea crossings”. The document also underscores the “particularly tragic situation of women and children, who face exploitation and sexual violence” and “other vulnerable individuals, such as those with disabilities”.

Hence the Formentera Council's decision, first, to point out the universally recognised right to asylum and, second, to call on the Spanish government to disentangle the application process for asylum seekers and cut down the administration's response time. Those are just some of the measures laid out in the manifesto, which urges an array of improvements to refugee reception measures and guarantees to the right to asylum.

Second manifesto
Parellada also held up another official declaration, unanimously adopted by the Formentera Council in April 2016, which rejected the EU-Turkey refugee resettlement deal on the grounds that it was an egregious breach of legislation protecting refugees and would only worsen the humanitarian crisis under way.

Formentera with Syria
According to the councillor, the situation of people in refugee camps has been brought into sharp focus in recent weeks thanks to «Formentera amb Síria» (Formentera with Syria), a campaign organised by the Council and the non-profit group «Progreso y Desarrollo Humano». She also thanked the efforts and involvement of the entire population of Formentera.

Parellada called Formentera “an island full of welcoming people,” a fact she said was evident in “our 2015 pledge to put up refugees, which led Spain's department of immigration to create a roster of individuals willing to host refugees or able to offer other resources like clothes, money, childcare, language instruction, etc”.

Signups open for course on integration

integracio social2Through Friday March 3, registration will take place for the Formentera Council Office of Social Welfare's course on social and cultural integration. Now in its eighth year, the course is held twice annually, once in November and again in March. This round of classes will begin March 7 and finish the 30th.

Space is available for 15 and individuals interested in enrolling are asked to inquire at the social welfare office. A valid ID (temporary residence card or passport) is required for registration. Conducted over 20 hours in two weekly sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30 to 7.00pm, the course will be held in the large classroom of the school for adults and be led by Dolores Tamargo.

Topics covered will include Spain's constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic Statute of Autonomy, the European Union and gender equality, among others. Aimed at familiarising students with the various subjects and helping them obtain the associated accreditation, the classes are mainly geared towards immigrants, particularly those wishing to renew their residence permit, prepare for the CCSE citizenship test or demonstrate integration during the early phases of their stay in Spain.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat