Flying High

The figures for passengers using Ibiza airport as the summer starts are 7,2% up the same time last year. Last month alone 274.790 travellers on 3,068 planes used the facilities. Part of this good news is because of the recuperation of Spanish passengers helped by the fact that Easter was later this year and the economy is perceived to be doing better. At the end of summer we could be looking at an 11% increase in airport usage.

VIP Property Sales Increase.

With prices ranging from 400,000€ for a 2 bed apartment in a good area of the island to villas at 9.5€ million, estate agents are reporting a 20% increase in 2013 of the sale of VIP properties on Ibiza. The average type of  property likely to sell readily is a 1.1€ million villa in a good location. New figures also show that private planes landing on the island have increased by 19% making Ibiza the 4th busiest airport for private air traffic in Europe!

New Traffic Regulations

Changes tin  Spanish Traffic and Road-Safety Laws take effect from May 9th. The key points are:-

  • Under 16 Cycle Helmets Compulsory

Children under the age of 16 are now compelled to wear helmets on all kind of roads while cycling, even when riding as passengers. Adults do not have to wear helmets on urban roads, but it is recommended.

  • Increased Drink/Drug Drive Fine €1,000

The sanction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when the permitted level is doubled or the driver is a second offender, has been put up to 1000€.

  • Mandatory Testing in Accidents/Infractions.

Included here is the new law by which all occupants of a car have to take alcohol/drug tests when involved in an accident or infraction.

  • Child Seat Direct Action

The police can immobilize a car if it doesn’t have an adequate children’s seat.

  • Off The Radar

Radar detectors are now forbidden, however there seem to be some exceptions, the subtleties of which we could not fully grasp.

Convenience Marriages.

As part of a police swoop on a nation wide gang organising convenience marriages for illegal Nigerian immigrants so that they could work and live in Spain, a forty one year old Nigerian woman was arrested in Ibiza Town last week. The gang operated on the island but had its main centre in Valencia with the marriages between Nigerian men and Spanish women costing between 6,000€ to 10,000€. Police became suspicious as the number of marriage applications for Nigerian men suddenly increased and when they detected that, the men involved, had only registered a few days before the date of the marriage as living in the same borough as the woman they were marrying.

Looky looky leaflet.

Sant Josep Council is issuing 100,000 flyers this summer warning the tourists of the dangers of buying products of all types from illegal street and beach sellers. Explaining that in many cases the goods were “fraudulent” copies and that there was no sanitary or health controls, the Council want the flyer to raise awareness amongst tourists so they think twice before they buy.

New Mining Controls.

After having recently reported neighbours complaints about quarrying activities on the island, it appears someone was listening! This week the local press reported that the Balearic Government is going to pass a new law controlling all mining and quarrying activities on the islands. The new law will make those extracting raw materials restore the area to an acceptable environmental condition afterwards. Also the new law enforces the extraction companies to protect the environment around their concession before and whilst they are extracting materials. These laws will also guarantee the companies their extraction rights whilst the quarry or mine is viable as long as they follow certain conditions.

Hospital Services Stay Put

Most of the medical specialists at the Can Misses Hospital do not appear to think it is viable to move to the new hospital at this moment in time even though it is ready for use. They believe that unless other services such as the lab, pharmaceutical facilities, radiology, etc. also move then, they cannot carry out their surgeries correctly. Whilst there is an agreement to carry out the move from the old Can Misses hospital in phases from the 1st June, behind the scenes, the medical staff is supposedly trying to get the authorities to wait until October which they see as a more feasible date to transfer everything on block.

Local Reptiles At Risk.

The uncontrolled introduction of exotic species of reptiles from all around the world into the Balearic environment has put local reptiles at risk of extinction. Particularly badly affected are local lizards that were once found on all the islands but now can only be found on isolated areas of Ibiza, Formentera and some of the small islands around the coast. None of these lizards, known as Podarcis lilfordi and Podarcis pityusensis, are now found in Mallorca. Causing most damage are snakes which are thriving in the wild but were never indigenous to the islands.

Europe Day.

In recognition of the importance of the foreign resident population in Santa Eulalia, the Mayor, Vincent Mari, met with representatives of the Dutch, British, German, French and Italian communities. With 8000 foreign residents legally registered as living in the borough, Vincent used “Europe Day” to announce plans to improve communication between foreign residents and the authorities as well as improve integration.

24 Hour A Day Cleaning.

By employing seventeen more operatives to join the existing Council maintenance work force and help the refuge contract company, the Council in San Antonio hopes to achieve 24 hour a day cleaning and maintenance of the resort until October. In the past month the enlarged work force has been getting the town in “top shape” ready for summer dedicating time and resources to repairs, gardening and cleaning.

Drug Bunker!!!

A house in the Vista Alegre street in Ibiza old town was described by police as a “Drug Bunker”. Strong fencing and very sturdy locks made entrance to the property very hard but, once inside, the police found heroin, cocaine and large amounts of cash. They arrested a fifty year old man and a fourty-two year old woman for various drug offences though the woman claimed that the drugs were the property of the man and nothing to do with her. The investigation took three months to plan and execute after the authorities first detected that lots of known drug users were regularly frequenting the premises.

Sewage Leaks Into Port.

This week a sewage pipe leaked into the port of Ibiza by the main quay where the luxury pleasure craft are moored. It appears the problem was caused by a bad joint in the pipe. It seemingly took a couple of days to get the right piece to repair the pipe and reportedly cost 20,000€. Neighbours complained about the visual affects of floating sewage and the bad smell!

Don Conte in Fight

According to reports in the press, the head barman of a sunset chill out bar in Playa Comte lost his “cool” when he saw an ex-employee from last summer enter the establishment  this week. Insults were exchanged and fists flew which ended up with both men appearing before the judge.

Fight Against Illegal Taxis.

The Consell Island Government is increasing its fight against illegal taxis by putting up more signs at the airport and by distributing more information island wide informing the tourists about the problem. The idea is to help tourists realise the problem and to opt to use legally licensed public transport. There will also be co-ordination between the police and the traffic department inspectors so that on certain days they work together to apply punitive measures against illegal operators. Also it is supposed that, the 295 extra temporary legal taxis, which will operate from the 1st July until the 30th September, will help reduce the demand for illegal services.

Interestingly, Sant Josep Council will publicly auction in the next few days sixty vehicles they impounded last summer when police stopped them for offering illegal taxi services.

Polish Builder Found Dead.

Wojcieh Ryszard Kadziolka, a forty-four year old Polish builder was reported missing this week. Wojcieh is a resident on the mainland of Spain but was presently living in Ibiza whilst working on a house building project in Cala de Bou. Police investigated after finding blood at the building site.  The body was found Tuesday afternoon, after 5pm, dead in his car in the Cala D’Hort area. The Guardia Civil have reported the body showed no signs of violence, but are waiting for the coroner’s official autopsy report. The deceased was reported missing by his family on Tuesday May 6th and the Guardia Civil started a search device by land and air, which ended when the man’s Chevrolet was found.