Medieval Days & Knights
The Medieval Festival takes place in and around Dalt Vila from Thursday May 8th to Sunday May 11th. Held to celebrate Ibiza’s World Heritage Site status, which has its 15th anniversary this year, the area becomes a huge open-air street market and theatre and there are lots of events where you can learn more about the city and its heritage. The streets are decorated for the event, and are filled with market stalls with stallholders dressed up in medieval costumes, selling everything from crafts, clothes, jewellery, food and drinks. There is also a rolling programme of live entertainment and performances throughout the town during the festival: music, processions, dancers, jugglers, historical re-enactments, exhibitions (ancient musical instruments; manuscripts; weapons and farming tools), animal and falconry displays, archery and the like. There are also special zones organising activities for children. See the programme (link below) for full details of what is scheduled, where and when. The festival opens on Thursday May 8th at 6pm with a welcome parade in the Reina Sofia Park, followed by a medieval tournament at 7pm. The festival continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the market and events taking place from 10am until midnight each day. The streets will be packed with visitors and it’s a great way to spend a few hours in town and take in some of the atmosphere and events. Full programme here (in Catalan and Spanish) with a map of what is happening where and listings of all the events:
Medieval festival gastro
To coincide with the Medieval Festival in Ibiza Town, several of the bars and restaurants in the town participate in tapas and meal deals on Thursdays during May from 8pm. This year twenty-four establishments are participating in ‘Medieval Tapas’ where a pincho (a snack, usually on a piece of bread) and a drink will be on offer at a set price of 2€, or a tapa and a drink for 4€. ‘Medieval Banquets’ are also on offer at fourteen restaurants at special prices. Get the map and full details of the participating establishments and menus on offer from here:
The Balearic Islands have registered an increase in their number of autónomos by 2875 in April. This sees a 3.65% increase and makes the Balearics the Spanish community with highest growth in Spain. The growth is five times higher than the state average. Baleares have exceeded last year’s growth. The figures for last April saw a 3.15% increase, this year’s being 5.23% according to Jerónimo Valcaneras, president of the UTATE (Unión de Asociaciones de Trabajadores Autónomos y Emprendedores – Union of Self-Employed and Entrepreneurs). In relation to April 2013, there has been an increase of 2547, whereas the growth from 2012 to 2013 was of only 411. These increases have been mostly in trade and hospitality industries. The popularity of working under autónomo/self-employed criteria is undoubtedly enhanced by a current scheme offered by the Spanish Government. Subject to certain criteria, the most important being that you have not worked as an autónomo in the last ten years, you can benefit from significantly reduced amount of social security contribution in the first few years of self employment. This is one of several schemes in place to encourage people back into employment or self-employment. A scheme for small businesses to hire staff at a reduced rate of social security contribution is also offered, again subject to qualifying criteria. The regulations are quite complex and anybody looking to take advantage of either scheme would be well advised to seek the help of a professional gestor.
Oil Fuels Political Fires.
The European Parliament politician and national PP Conservative Rosa Estaràs, visited the islands this week and entered into the oil exploration debate. She suggested that, though the PP National Government had made a favourable environmental report about the oil exploration around the islands, the EU had stricter criteria and most likely would stop it taking place. Rosa also urged the Consell Island Governments to change the environmental classification of the coastal waters where the oil exploration is to take place, making them “Lugar de Interés Comunitario” (Community interesting zones). This classification of environmental protection is recognised by the EU and would help find them in favour of stopping the exploration. Also this week, the President of the Spanish National Government, Mariano Rajoy, reportedly said for the first time ever that, he would consider temporarily stopping the oil exploration from going ahead. This would at least be until a wider consensus had been reached with all concerned. Though met on the islands with certain scepticism, the announcement was noted as being a move in the right direction. The Senate of the Central Government has also supported a motion to declare the underwater mountains, located between Ibiza and Mallorca, as a protected area. Supposedly this protection will help in the fight to stop the oil exploration but will also stop certain fishing methods which are destroying the sea bed.
50€ To Use Boat Ramps.
The port authorities are introducing a permission necessary for residents to launch their pleasure craft from the fifteen official boat ramps set up at various ports around the Baleares. The cost of the permit will be a yearly payment of 50€ instead of the present system where the boat user pays every time they use the ramp.
Summer House Building.
The Formentera Island Government has made an exception of its law forbidding building work in summer. Instead it will allow the building of the foundations of fourteen council houses in the centre of the Sant Ferran to continue until the 15th June. As the housing project is partially funded by EU money, if the work isn’t started now they could loose the 750,000€ that Brussels is giving them.
British Tests For Local Teachers.
The Balearic Government is to ask teachers on the islands to voluntarily take British Council’s online “Aptis tests”, to make sure that their English is of a sufficient standard. This is to ensure classes of a variety of subjects can be taught in our language. Whilst obviously being a good test of the capabilities of the teachers to be able to teach up to pre-university level in English, it will also give them an internationally recognised certification which will help them in their careers.
All Roads Must Have Cycle Lane (except those that Don’t ??)
The Balearic Government has recently introduced law changes making it compulsory that all roads on the island must have a cycle lane. This new law is apparently being applied to all the new road building projects, such as the road to Ses Salinas and to Jesus village. There were comments and questions in the press however, as to why the planned cycle lane of the projected road improvements between Ibiza and Sant Joan has been scrapped.
Complaints About The Beach.
The Neighbourhood Association of Talamanca Beach has complained publicly this week that, although we are starting the summer, the provision of toilets, showers, parasols and beach beds has not yet started. The neighbours are also upset that there is a lack of beach cleaning and control of people taking their dogs on to the beach. They are complaining to the Town Council as they feel that this will affect their tourist image as the season starts.
More Safety Measures.
After a spate of accidents and whilst the road repairs are taking place, the authorities will also install more safety measures on the road leading into Ibiza Town from Sant Josep. They are installing central pivots to stop vehicles turning left or making U turns and there will be speed detectors on the traffic lights. These will turn red if a vehicle is travelling at more than 50 kmph. The authorities also propose to improve the pavements to make pedestrian safer.
Island Wide Taxi Association.
Pointing out that the taxis provide an island wide service no matter what borough they are licensed to, Tony Roig was pleased to announce a new island wide Taxi Association called ATTIE. As President, Tony defended the logic of this move and said it will greatly improve the service to the public as his members will be helping coordinate the provision of taxis all over Ibiza. Asked what effect it would have on response times to call outs the association president said improvements were just around the corner and coming into your road now.
75 Year Old Man Found.
A 75 year old British man was found safe and sound after 24 hours search by the police, who had used even a helicopter to help find him. Living in San Antonio, the man was reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s and disappeared. He has finally been found only 500 metres from his home after spending the night missing.
Formentera In Soho.
Using Soho as its base, the Tourist authorities from Formentera met with sixteen travel agencies and the media in the British capital to promote the island. Hoping to increase the demand for holidays at the beginning and end of the summer, the tourist authorities from our sister island will also visit trade fairs in Manchester, Leicester and London.
More Air Connections.
Three new routes between Ibiza and Europe started operation this week. The company Vueling is now flying direct to Brussels three times a week until October. Jet Time is flying to Gothenburg once a week on Thursdays and Germanwings is flying three times a week to Dusseldorf. These are three of the twenty-six new air connections announced for this summer.
Pet Owners Fined.
Police in San Antonio reported putting fifty-one fines to pet owners in the borough. Most were of 60€ for not having a dog on a lead but they also applied fines for not picking up the dog poo, for using the animal commercially in the street or for not having the animal electronically chipped. One of these fines reached 2405€ and another was of 826€ for not having a dangerous dog properly muzzled.
Santa Eulalia Says No!
Modifications to planning laws means that Santa Eulalia Town Hall can now legally stop new beach clubs, hotel clubs, discos or cafe conciertos (live music bars) opening in the borough. Trying to keep the borough “peaceful” for residents and tourists alike, it appears that for a new beach club, hotel club, disco or cafe concierto to open, it must be in a predominantly tourist area, be no more than 400m2 in size with no apartments or living accommodation above and not have a capacity for more than five hundred people. These laws will not apply to the existing beach club at s´Argamassa or to the “Club hotel” in Cap Martinet but will stop a projected open air disco on an industrial estate in the Cana Pallava area from going ahead. Cala Llonga, Es Canar, Cala Pada and Es Figueral will be the only tourist areas where live music and shows will be allowed to take place in the open air.