Some Christmas Things, Some Interesting Things, Some Statistical Things, Some Newspaper Things & Ibiza Things.

Nick Gibbs

If any of the articles referred to are of interest I have embedded a copy of this week’s newspaper at the foot of this post

Feeling Festive?

I may have more reason than most to be feeling full of Christmas cheer having spent a lot of time compiling our Christmas agenda and content this week.

It really is amazing how much public entertainment and  activity is provided by the Island’s municipalities.

Ibiza’s population of 132,000 is very similar to my home town Ipswich at 138,000. I would have been impressed if the town had done anything comparable to that in Ibiza Town, San Antonio, Santa Eulalia or Formentera individually, but if you took all the events of all municipalities and pooled them together it really would make my home town’s efforts, a tree on the Cornhill and a night of yuletide serenades by the chamber music ensemble, seem as feeble by comparison as they truly are.

Though San Jose and San Juan put out less of a programme over Christmas, perhaps because they do not have the same town ’hub’ as the other 4, they make up for it throughout the year.

Some people complain of too many Spanish Fiesta days, and two this week certainly does have its business challenges, but personally I think the more the merrier. Better a society that says any excuse for a party than one who doesn’t really understand how to have one.

Shop Til You Drop

There is one aspect of the Christmas holiday that Ipswich Borough Council do actively promote that you will not see in any of our island’s plans for Nadal. I remember the first time Thursday late night shopping was introduced in the weeks before Christmas, and what a success it was. There is a key difference in the way we do Navidad and the British do Christmas. Looking on from afar it feels as if the whole country is gripped in a madness of consumerism. Our ’any excuse for a party’ seems to be echoes in their ’any excuse for more shopping’. Not content with the already high level of spending over Christmas and into the January sales, they can’t wait to latch on to any new way to buy more, spend more, and do it all so efficiently they have more time to do more shopping.

Black Friday, Online Sunday, Withdrawal Wednesday, I’m a Complete Mug Monday, and all of which can be done in a bewildering array of  ‘the easier we make it, the more you’ll do it’ options. In store, home delivery, same day home delivery, pay and collect in store, pay and drive slowly past the shop with your window open and something will throw it in to save you stopping.  Utter madness.

The difference in approach was highlighted by one of several statistical news items I worked on this week. In a survey on Christmas spending habits it was found the UK spends most in Europe, 963.86€ per household and Spain comes in last at under half that with a figure quoted of 414.54€.

I put a question out on facebook and it seems many people have similar views. Asked what it was people liked about spending Christmas in Ibiza, many of the responses were more to do with it being ‘not the U.K.’.

Santa Sleigh Front Page

With all the festive events in Ibiza it was no wonder Santa decided to pop in and see what all the fuss was about.

Actually I at time of writing this I am worries as to how the ’amazing photograph taken by the  space station on a flypast’ will reproduce in print as this year’s Christmas front cover. If you are reading this in the printed copy and wondered why we had a front page design of exploded ink bottle, it is actually Ibiza from space with Santa rising in his sleigh from Salinas. Try squinting.


Love From Ibiza

Had I have known Santa was coming I’d have asked him to take over my duties as his temporary stand in at the Charity Christmas Fair organised by Love from Ibiza and held at La Muella on Saturday.

Another amazing thing about our Ibiza community is the effort people go to for worthy causes. A brilliantly organised and attended event. Carly has written a full report for us in this week’s newspaper so I will not go through the long list of people who deserve credit again here, but deserving it is.

It was a real pleasure to take my place in the grotto and the day was made all the more enjoyable by having the world’s best elf,  Julia Daniels, at my side.

The children were brilliant, some really funny requests and comments which you can read on page 14 of the newspaper at the foot of this post. Reward  enough in itself, especially the teeny tot who said “I love you farver kissmas”, but when I read the post by Lisa Grimm (see photo) I shall self indulgently say it really made my day. Great fun.


Numbers Game

Though not so much fun as the Christmas festivities it has been a very interesting edition in some of the content coming through, and even taking account of the end of year reporting, a far higher amount than normal has been statistical and numerical.

The official FRONTUR tourist statistics have been released to the end of October and so we can now give an accurate number following the widespread mis-reporting of Ibiza attracting 7.1 million visitors when an article in the Diario was incorrectly translated by some Ibiza web services a few weeks back.

The correct figure of 2,976,087 is 12.6% up on the previous year. Though this will still be seen as good news by many, there is an increasing number of people who will be worried about the island’s ability to cope with ever increasing numbers.

Though saturation may be a problem peak season, most will be very pleased to see the 33% increase in numbers in March and October, good news for extending the season.

Another figure that jumps out is the importance of the British market. At 840k we are by far the biggest nationality, broadly equal to the next 3 foreign countries, Italy Germany and France combined.

In property news we received conflicting content with an announcement that the 100% mortgage was again available, and at the same time warnings of another price bubble.

It became interesting to me when I did a bit of digging into the regional property prices and gathered some data for Ibiza in Isolation of its Balearic neighbours. Though usually published by region, Ibiza is a unique market and the price you will pay for a house here is not influenced in any way by the cost of houses in Majorca. Though there is no official data collected for Ibiza as an island, there is for two of its municipalities and as expected it shows a much higher price per square metre, a price comparable to Spain’s most expensive region Cantabria.

I then applied the information to the position of a new home buyer in Ibiza, the needs of a young family as they would be in any other area of the country.

I found the result startling.

My example 3 bed property is 205m2 and situated in Can Misses.

A modest home for a young family, you certainly wouldn’t call it a palace.

To buy this house a young couple would need to find 120,000€ deposit, plus around 80,000€ to cover taxes.

If they ever could raise the 200,000€ to buy the property, they would then have a 25 year mortgage with a monthly repayment of 2,083€

You can see why native Ibicencos are concerned for their children’s future.

There were several more money and statistical news items, but I have a feeling that one piece of information, that carried very little relative importance in the Spanish press, may have a few local businessmen spluttering into their breakfast cortado when they read it.

As part of a range of measures to combat fraud and corruption, the new Spanish Government have announced they intend to prohibit cash transactions of over 1,000€  in an effort to curb the use of ‘black-money’.

Ramon Llull

Another article I enjoyed working on greatly was that of a special feature on Ramon Llull.

It is fair to say Llull does not have the cool cachet associated with some of the Balearics’ very earliest superstars, Tanit, Bes and the gang, nor the smouldering sex appeal of the pirates to follow, but it turns out he is a very interesting Balearian indeed.

I like any story when learning something new and his life was packed of it. (I also learnt of Balearian as the correct collective pronoun for a person from the Balearics. Balearian is to Ibizan, as baleárico is to ibicenco). I knew of Llull as a Catalan writer, he is considered to have written the first major piece of Catalan literature, but had no idea of his connection to the origins of computing. This is due to his using a ‘logic tree’ in his work on a mission to convert Muslims, Jews, anybody he came across really, to Christianity.

Though we may not find the missionary a particularly sympathetic role by modern standards, Llull also has some credentials that make him something of a visionary in the 13th century.

Llull promoted the idea that the ‘conversion of Muslims should be achieved through prayer, not through military force”.

Immaculate Conception

Appropriate I should be working on Llull in the week the Spanish celebrate the immaculate conception of Mary as this was a large part of his religious work, he is considered to be the first person to actually use that  expression.

I found his theory in this respect far less creditable than in the areas of Logic and Literature.

His extended arguments for the proof of the immaculate conception seem to all be around the principle that it must have been immaculate because she was so special to be carrying the child of God that it could have only be possible if it were immaculate.

It is mind blowing stuff that takes a few reads, I didn’t include it in the article as a bit heavy, but worth a read to anybody interested in Philosophy.

Newspaper Things

Having made the change to a monthly paid edition for the winter months, I have written a FAQ covering the reasons for the change and some practical information.

This follows below for those who are interested.

15325367_10208211356861244_702503381205688107_oIn closing and on behalf of everybody connected with the Ibizan we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Santa Nick xx

At the foot of the post is the new December edition of the Ibizan.


Winter Monthly Issues—FAQ

  • When is it printed?

The second Friday of the month.

  • Remaining Winter Schedule

Issue 853 : January 13th

Issue 854 : February 10th

Issue 855 : March 10th

Weekly from April

  • Where can I buy it?

During winter The Ibizan should be available on sale from all except 5 of Ibiza & Formentera’s newsagents/quioscos de prensa, and other shops, petrol stations etc. that sell newspapers. If they sell the Diario, they should have The Ibizan.

It will take a little time to get the supply number right to each outlet, we know that in November some sold out within a week, and we also had reports that shops said they never had any.

If you don’t see it displayed please ask, and if it is not available/sold out we really appreciate your letting us know.

It is also available at Thomas Green’s supermarket.

  • Is it online?

Yes, we will continue to publish the newspaper online.

Subject to incoming news it may not be possible to publish the full newspaper version online for several days after the printed newspaper. You can subscribe to receive the online version as soon as it is released.

  • Where else is the Ibizan distributed in winter?

We offer postal subscriptions worldwide (see below)

We issue some copies to bars and cafés for their patrons whilst on the premises.

We have arrangements to provide copies to some winter tourism hotels and will be issuing free copies on request to residential homes for the elderly.

  • How can I subscribe?

Via our website at

  • Online subscriptions are free.
  • Postal Subscriptions cost

Ibiza, Spain 2€

U.K., Europe 3€

Rest of the World 5€

  • Why change at all?

Primarily economics.

Printing a newspaper is expensive. Though there are plenty enough English speaking residents in Ibiza during the winter to warrant a newspaper, there are far fewer advertisers looking to reach them.

The newspaper has never made a good commercial argument to print through the winter. Readers may remember that before the change in name it had reduced down to just 8 pages in winter.

We are the same as many businesses that earn their livelihood in the summer from the boost given by tourism, and though we would like to continue to serve the resident market in winter, it has to be in a commercially viable context.

The economics of print are such that it is far cheaper to print a 32 page newspaper monthly than it is to print the same quantity of an 8 page newspaper weekly.

This reduction in overheads is also in the context of alternative ways to serve news online.

We have not reduced our news output. We have not reduced our readership. But we have changed it.

  • What else has changed?

Our digital readership is now more or less equal to our print readership.

Many people who enjoy reading a physical newspaper will also use online news services, and they will continue to see our news whether we are printing daily, weekly or monthly.

Given the immediacy of online news and social media there is little difference publishing a weekly or monthly. In a digital world even a daily newspaper is out of date by the time it hits the streets.

This requires a different approach to printed news. In the majority of situations the newspaper will no longer be the source of breaking news, as in ‘where you heard it first’.

The newspaper will be a format where a story or article can become more in depth, where it can be fully read comfortably and with the aid of always in view visuals etc.

It will also serve as a recap, a summary of recent news, and an agenda and planner for forthcoming news and events.

What a newspaper cannot do any longer is try to be the source of ‘you heard it here first’.

This is much like the purpose of a traditional Sunday newspaper and a good way to think of it. I hope that the last and current issue will reflect at least a move towards that.

  • Is it worth 1,20€?

We hope so, but that is for you to decide. If you do not think so please tell us. Any comments, suggestions or requests always gratefully received.