5 Years Ago

The Ibizan Issue 738, 12th June 2014

We wished Happy Birthday Mr Resident to Tony Pike in his 80th year. The issue included Tony’s interview that became our most contentious, and certainly most litigious, published text.

Elsewhere, taxi drivers were not feeling technology love, the boom times rolled with one in a constant stream of upward stats at the airport, Jerry was all hyped up for the Brasil world cup, and Ibiza experienced its first episode of a new psycho-drug, cannibal, requiring the restraint of 8 police officers.

And good news for Jesus, as 2.4 million was approved for its wonderful new bypass. How did that work out then?

News Snippets

Happy Birthday Mr Resident

They don’t make them much more Ibizan that Tony Pike. From the Wham Club Tropicana video through to Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones, tales of his escapades have taken on legendary kudos. Tony celebrated his 80th Birthday earlier this year and the irrepressible octogenarian marked the occasion in fine style this week with celebrations starting at the Pikes hotel that bares his name (we’re sure Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes will allow us license in this context). The party included a special presentation by Howard ‘Mr Nice’ Marks before moving onto Pacha to dance the night away. Not bad going for eighty.

Taxi Chaos.

After costing around 1000€ to install in each taxi, the first week of the GPS taxi system in operation throughout the island has been somewhat chaotic. There have been reports of seven taxis arriving at the same hotel for the same fare, taxis already occupied receiving messages about fares rather than the ones waiting at the ranks and an hour long daily break down in the systems operation. Apparently, as taxis from all the boroughs of the island can pick up all over the island, there are too many taxis queuing for fares at the most popular ranks. Some drivers seem to fear that these are not teething problems and will get worse as the summer develops.

Airport Passenger Increase.

The number of passengers using Ibiza airport in May has increased 10,4% on last year. For the first time ever over 600,000 passengers used the terminal at the start of the summer season. All types of passengers increased in number but the best news was that 418,181 were international travellers.

Jesus Paved!

2,4 million € will be spent on the new Jesus village by pass of which around 167,000€ will pay for the compulsory purchase of private land to carry out the project. Only a 12m2 warehouse will have to be knocked down to make way for the new road. The focus will be on reducing the speed of the traffic using the road whilst giving the pedestrians and cyclists their own spaces. Gardens will be incorporated in the project as will parking facilities which will all help reduce congestion this growing residential village.

8 police restrain Drug Brit.

On June 1st, the staff at the health centre of San Antonio had to deal with the first episode of violence within the facilities. A drunken tourist, who had probably consumed a trendy new drug – ‘Cannibal’, which pushes consumers to binge-bite compulsively – came to the health centre in a “tremendously aggressive” state. Even though he had been handcuffed to the stretcher and several policemen were keeping him face down, he squirmed and tried to pounce on the nurse. “The police pulled him to the ground and the drunkard managed to bite an officer in the hand, though fortunately he was wearing gloves and it only caused a haematoma” the nurse who witnessed these events, Matilde Fernández, tells us. “They had to call in reinforcements and eventually there were eight officers of the local police,” all engaged on this drunk-drugged tourist’s case.

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10 Years Ago

The Ibiza Sun Issue 478, 17th June 2009

Back in 2009 the Balearics were embroiled in corruption scandals. The public prosecutor’s 82 page report found PP President José Juan Cardona was complicit in defrauding public funds of 1.5 million euros through a series of bogus reports which were either never produced, or simply copied from text on the internet.

Clearly disillusioned with their politicians, the public turnout at local elections was just 34%, compared to around 50% at this year’s poll.

And in further news that makes 2009 seem like a different era, Hotel occupancy was down 11% in May, a fact the Hotel Federation put down to the Island’s reliance on the Clubs.

In other news one man died in a cliff fall and another was seriously injured falling from a balcony. A man was on life support following an accident caused by speeding on the Cala Llonga road. Reports which could all have been written yesterday.

Ibiza cricket club beat Sydenham 20th Century Foxes by 141 runs, and Rino and Angie announced they were back at Tapas.

News Snippets

Prosecutor’s Report

The prosecution team investigating the bribery case involving the former president of the Partido Popular, José Juan Cardona, have composed a damning report on the high-flying local politician which, if he is found guilty, could see him spend the next 17 years in prison.  The case revolves around the Balearic Government’s Consortium for Economic Development from 2003-2007 under the previous PP-run Govern, which the document claims misused up to €1.5 million.  The 82-page report goes through each case under suspicion, and there are more than 100, one by one, with the conclusion being that Cardona knew exactly what was happening and was an integral part in the fraud

Nine arrests were made back in October 2008, including that of the director general of the Consortium, Kurt Viaene and Antonia Ordinas.  Both were working under Cardona, with Ordinas eventually claiming he was involved in all of the fraudulent activity.

Ordinas even led officers to €200,000 she had buried in her luxury chalet in Portol, Mallorca.  She remained in prison for the next few months before eventually being released on bail.  She is also set to stand trial, but it is Cardona who is likely to be the most high-profile casualty.

The scam revolved around the Consortium, which was in charge of marketing and promotion of the four islands.  The prosecution team claims it fabricated a total of 130 reports, charging for each, and then ciphering off the money.  In some cases, the reports were fictitious and did not exist, in others similar information was simply downloaded from the internet, most of which was not relevant and never used by the Govern.  In all of the cases, however, according to the report, the invoices were paid, with some of the money going to pay party expenses and the rest going straight to the pockets of the people involved.

The public prosecution team insisted none of these operations would have been possible without Cardona’s full collaboration.  They continued by ridiculing his earlier declaration that he had merely signed all of the documents without reading them, revealing that on some of the documents he had made notes, which showed he had had to have read their content.

In one such case the Consortium paid a whopping €45,000 for a report about the Mallorcan pearl which was never produced.  In another, in a project named Honey Moon, €240,000 was awarded to a company connected to the three, without being put out to tender or without even a contract being drawn up.

Drop in Numbers

Hotel occupancy was down eleven per cent during May, as figures released by the Hotel Federation confirmed the tough start to the season.  Federation President, Juanjo Riera, claimed the results highlighted the complicated year in which the island was currently emerged, as well as Ibiza’s dependency on the clubs. Overall occupancy in Ibiza reached 46.55%, a fall of 11.3 per cent from last year.

Voter Apathy

In Ibiza just 33.9 per cent of those able to vote made it to the polling booth.  However, of the 29,256 people who did make it, 47.17% voted for the PP Partido Popular, 41.52% for PSOE (the Socialist party), with the five other parties collecting 8.01% of the vote between them, with the remaining either nulls or abstentions.

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