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News …

Our Man in San An?

  • British Ex Pat Martin Makepeace Stands for Election in San Antonio. All the Facts and Full Interview.
  • Plus Our Señora in Formentera, we introduce ourselves to the Pitiuses first ex-pat elected councillor Lesley Bickerdike Hulme.
  • Nick Gibbs

News of a British Ex-Pat candidate standing for election in Ibiza’s 2015 Municipal elections has gained considerable interest in the Spanish media this week.

Martin Makepeace, owner of the Ibiza Property Shop estate agency and well known advocate for San Antonio and campaigner for change in the borough, is standing for election as a P.P. candidate.

In the Spanish municipal election system each party can place from one candidate to a maximum dictated by the number of seats in the respective town hall. This is known as the list and candidates are positioned on that list in numerical order. Votes are then cast for each party and the number of seats is dictated by the number of votes. If entitled to 3 seats, the top three on their list are elected to office, if six seats the top six and so on.

Martin is number 12 on the P.P. Party list. Polls predict the P.P. to win 11 seats in San Antonio and so whilst his election is far from guaranteed, his candidature and specifically the P.P. group having approached Martin to stand, does raise some interesting questions.

The Ibizan worked closely with Martin, known to many by his Ibiza nickname ’Shaggy’, in the Vote for Your Voice campaign. We asked Martin for a personal interview, here is what he had to say.

Hello Martin, and congratulations on your selection as a candidate in the forthcoming municipal elections. We worked together a lot on the Ex-Pat Registration to Vote campaign which was very successful. Was the level of engagement among the English speaking community one of the factors in deciding now was the time to stand for election?

Our ‘Registration to Vote’ campaignthe springboard that made me realise how completely under-represented the Ex-Pat community are in thetown halls of Ibiza. Our campaign also made the locals sit up and notice how important the ex-pat community has now become for the future fabric of San Antonio & Ibiza.

I know it is something you have considered before. What other factors made your mind up that 2015 was the year to stand?

I have known the Mayoral Candidate Pepe Sala for many years and helped him previously with his 2003 campaign. When he called and told me of his plans and also the new young team he was putting together I agreed to get involved. This is a forward thinking team full of ideas and energy and I immediately recognised that I could not only work with them but be an integral part of the team and make a significant contribution to the future of San Antonio.

I read a quote from you recently “New blood for San Antonio politics plus representation for ex-pats. Will leave the party politics to others.” Why then did you choose to stand as a P.P. candidate in preference to other parties, or as an independent?

I strongly believe in local business, wealth creation and investment in infrastructure. as is normal on a small island most party candidates have similar backgrounds so it all comes down to personalities and passion. I think Pepe Sala understands that it’s been a challenging 4 years for his party and is determined to address the balance by bringing in new blood with different ideas. He also knows how passionate I am about San Antonio and representation of those who have never previously had a voice. I’m not naive but I’m determined to leave the mudslinging to others and focus on my main objectives: The future of San Antonio and representation of ex-pats.

For readers who do not know, can you give us a brief idea of the P.P.’s position in Spanish politics. Many relate them to the U.K. Conservative party. Is that fair/accurate?

‘PP’ are closer to the right with ‘PSOE’ closer to the left. ‘Podemos’ are further left with ‘PI’ trying to occupy the middle ground. As is customary on this Island, Ibiza politics are very different as most candidates are from similar backgrounds so personality and trust comes into play. What defines Pepe Sala is his experience as Mayor and as a member of Parliament and his history of achievement in the town.

What would you say to a voter who, though keen to support you as a voice for the concerns of the British and Irish Ex-Pat communities, is opposed to the general position of the P.P.?

Its been a challenging 4 years but with a new administration comes the chance to move our town forward. My message is very simple: It’s time for the Ex-Pats to be represented and as a passionate advocate of San Antonio I feel I now have an opportunity to do this. I won’t hesitate to defend party policy but will leave the he says/she says to others

In accepting their proposal to stand, have you made any agreements or gained any assurances on particular issues that are of importance to you?

Yes, certain things have been discussed.main thing I asked for was a clear communication channel from the street level to the Mayor’s office. There is a lot of wasted talent not being utilised and San Antonio needs to pull its resources together from all nationalities to move forward in a challenging market.

You are known as a passionate advocate for San Antonio. What do you consider the most important issues facing the town generally, and what specifically relating the English speaking community?

The main challenge is to gradually change the perception of San Antonio to a quality resort with good infrastructure and we can only do this by attracting investment and extending the summer season wherever possible. San Antonio is not just one street or area but a large town offering a diverse option of sports, past times and leisure pursuits. We have one of the most famous brands in the world yet still seem unable to change the way we are viewed by ourselves and the outside world. With regards to the English speaking community my message is clear, only if you get involved and voice your ideas, concerns and views will we able to change things. If we leave it to others then we have no right to complain at a later date.

As I understand it you are number 12 on the P.P. list. Polls predict them to win 11 seats. This could be taken either as coincidence, or as a reflection of our voice being heard whether as a result of the registration to vote campaign or other reasons, or as a fairly clever tactical move designed to help them tip the balance in their favour more than any real change in the party’s consideration of representing our interests. What is your opinion?

Things may change before the final list is announced on 20 April however I think it’s a clever move as it gives me something to work for. I never expected to be handed a definite seat but by including an ‘extranjero’ in the top 12 it shows that they are taking the ex-pat vote seriously for the first time ever. This in itself is a step forward but we still need to push harder.

There seem to have been some blind spots at the Town Hall regarding issues such as street crime, prostitution and hawkers. Though you cannot promise to change matters single handed, can you promise that if elected you will make enough noise so that the problems cannot be ignored?

Absolutely, it’s the first thing that always comes up in conversation so this is a drum that needs to be constantly banged, the level of crime during the peak summer months is a challenge we need to face head on.The safety of residents and tourists must be number 1 on any to-do list.

Anything else you would like to say to our readers?

There are lots of passionate people out there who care deeply about San Antonio & Ibiza and I’m especially interested to hear their ideas & views for the future of our town. I can always be contacted by phone, email, Facebook & Twitter. Get involved.

Well we may as well put your connections to immediate use. Can you arrange our having the San An football stadium for the St George’s Day England vs Rest of the World football match please.

(laughs) I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks to Martin for the interview and calling back later to say the pitch is arranged. If you want to speak to Martin you can contact him on 971 805 960 or email

martinmakepeace@hotmail.com

  • Note on Bias to readers. We are printing this article in isolation due to the newsworthy nature of an English candidate standing for election. All political parties standing in Ibiza and Formentera’s municipal elections have received invitation from us to present a written address. We will publish these in good time before the elections.

For more information on the  municipal elections and standings in other boroughs see our report in issue 773.

http://bit.ly/ibizan773e

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… And Our Señora In Formentera

Following Martin Makepeace’s announcement to stand we were interested to find out if any other Ex-Pats  had held office, or even stood for election. Time then to call upon the fountain of all knowledge that is the facebook group ‘Wanted in Ibiza’ and the combination library and network of the group administrator Tricia Templeton, and we soon had our answer. (note to self –  invite Tricia to be ‘The Chaser’ in Ibizan version of Bradley Walsh’s game show) At least that is to say we had an answer. There may be others but as far as we know there is only one Ex-Pat to have gained election to office in the Pitiuses,

Lesley Bickerdike Hulme, who was elected to the Formentera Consell in the last legislature.

We contacted Lesley and asked her to tell us a little more about her role and experiences in local politics.

“Yes I was the first non Spanish councillor on the island council in the last legislation.  I ran as a European resident representative initially supporting the educational motivation called Trilinguistics……we had an excellent rural school that employed this teaching philosophy.

I was teaching in this school and was inspired by this great system….and was dragged into defending the educational policy behind it.

This term I am actually the spokeswoman for Tourism for the PP. I will be involved again in the current elections focusing on the same area of expertise.

I gained a lot of confidence and found myself doing things I thought impossible for me. It was one of the most positive things I have ever done and I got a lot out of it. I was surprised how many people took notice of things I did and said. I did lots of radio interviews and was often stopped on the streets by local women to say they had agreed with what I said.

Unusual I think when there are only about 20 full time UK residents on the island so you have to muster up support with the locals……very difficult on the Island.”

We then spent time talking education – something Lesley is clearly passionate about. I hope we may hear much more from her in the future.

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San José Mayoral Candidate Promises More Police and Beachfront Promenade

“We want the residents of Sant Josep and visitors to enjoy the beautiful coast of this area of ‌‌Cala de Bou”

Neus Mari P.P. San José

The Popular Party candidate for mayor of Sant Josep, Neus Mari,  held meetings with representative groups in Cala De Bou this week.

Mari stated that among her priorities for the area she would pursue greater police presence during the tourist season, and also work towards establishing a seafront paseo (promenade) for the Bay of San Antonio.

The Association of businessmen and traders in Cala de Bou, and the Hotel Association of San Antonio Bay were united in their call for security and safety of the area to receive upmost priority. Mari referred to “the success of the beach police, featuring an image of security for residents and tourists” and also that in May the Cala de Bou neighbourhood police initiative starts.

Other concerns of traders and hoteliers related to the poor state of empty premises and land in the area, and its consequence to the image of Cala De Bou.

Mari said it was essential for the council, businesses and residents to work together to improve the image of the area.

During the meeting the development of a coastal promenade was proposed. Described as a “ coastal walk which is not environmentally invasive” Mari gave the commitment of the P.P. party to fulfilling this major initiative. “We want the residents of Sant Josep and visitors to enjoy the beautiful coast of this area of ‌‌Cala de Bou” she said.

Opinion

  • Nick Gibbs

The absence of a Paseo is a huge loss for the Bay, but given all tourist businesses are now established on the lower bay road, and many of them have been struggling for some years, there may be strong opposition from much of the business community. It may be short sighted opposition, but I can’t see them accepting their footfall trade being taken away. In my opinion the most important development for the bay has to be the demolition of the unfinished skeleton hotels between playa bella and pinet playa which are both an eyesore, a really big eyesore, but also create a dead zone splitting the bay in two. As I understand it the work undertaken to date cannot now be used as it has been open to the elements too long, so any developer would have to knock them down and start again. Given the amount of hotel money still coming into Ibiza, including the major refurbishment and upgrading of the Pinet Playa next door to the dead zone, and these unfinished projects being prime seafront sites, it is fair to consider that it is the demolition cost putting developers off. If there is no recourse to the original developers who abandoned the projects perhaps public funding is the only way, and what a great public space could be made in that area, even if only until a developer came forward.

But as to whether there is genuine will or we are receiving pre-election promises that have little likelihood of fulfilment after the ballot box has been packed away for another 4 years, caution would certainly be advisable, though some may consider recent history demands nothing less than cynicism and mistrust.

For many in the Bay the ’Plan of Excellence’ is still a raw wound of betrayal. Many feel the project, which included the controversial move to single file traffic away from Town in the main tourist street, is a significant contributory factor in the Bay’s decline over recent years.

Sources involved in the planning process say what was promised bares no resemblance to what was finally achieved – as these artists impressions of the way it should have been seem to reinforce.

  • Photos: 1 The Promised Pedestrian Utopia of Cala De Bou. Top. The service access only pedestrian street remains the main 2 way traffic connection between San An and the Bay. Liberty’s Diner is visible. 2 Wide open pedestrian spaces again with restricted access and service traffic. This view is of the lower bay road which remains open to all traffic, all be it single lane. View in the area of La Caixa from Sundown.

PSOE Top 20

Ibiza’s socialist party, or as we may refer to it in the U.K. left-of-centre since the Labour party has disassociated itself from the word, have published a list of 20 proposals which they describe as being “to secure a change, and designed to combat inequality, promote job creation, defend education and culture, make government transparent and defend the territory.” The 20 proposals for a “better Ibiza” are as follows.

Fighting social inequality.

  • Reinstate universal free medical care, providing the new Can Misses Hospital and health centres in Ibiza sufficient health professionals and resources including new specialist units in hemodynamics, vascular surgery and neurosurgery.
  • Facilitate the effective management of all public social services in Ibiza. To guarantee adequate funding to ensure its continuity and quality of service.
  • Work towards the creation of public sector rental housing and the creation of a fund, in collaboration with local councils in order to promote the emancipation of young people.
  • Promote education from 0 to 3 years in order to achieve its universality, increasing the number of places of public nursery schools and putting the necessary resources in place.

Reviving the economy through employment.

  • Promote a great Social Pact, which will include employment, competitiveness and social cohesion. A roadmap for the Balearics.
  • Labour policies are an indispensable and essential part of our welfare state. Provide the financial resources to reach at least 4% of the regional budget and implement an action plan to create jobs.
  • Public administration should target people in their careers. Make changes to SOIB (Ibiza’s employment service). The unemployed to receive comprehensive advice to assist in their employment opportunities.
  • Sa Coma rejuvenated as a place of learning, innovation and dynamism. Provide investment for the creation of the School of Hospitality and Civil Service. Our competitiveness depends on the special training of workers in the tourism industry and public sector, so it is vital to respond to the training needs for improving the quality of service.

Supporting education, culture and sports.

  • Undertaking an audit of educational infrastructure, and the construction of the facilities required for quality education throughout the Island.
  • Repeal and replace the TIL (Integrated Tri-Language Methodology) by a new system based on consensus with the ultimate goal that students are competent in having full command of Catalan and Spanish, and (sorry can’t be 100% on this in translation – whether they are saying ’equally competent, or good but not necessarily as good’) English or another third language.
  • Develop a plan to support strong and powerful political, economic and cultural institutions/associations for the purpose of the conservation and promotion of the different aspects of our cultural heritage and our history as a people and society.
  • To provide the best technical sport facilities and adequate resources to achieve proper training in the early stages of life and thus promote the sport as a fundamental part of the growth and development of the person.

A change in the way we govern.

  • Establish the principle “One politician, one salary.”
  • Taking political responsibility for breaches of promises or unwarranted government programmes.
  • Within the first 100 days of government, form the joint committee needed to review our competition and promote tourism.
  • We will make a new law adapted to the Statute of Autonomy of 2007 to clarify the level of competence and review the Finance Act funding to ensure that the Council is able to meet Ibiza’s needs.

A change in the defence of our Island.

  • An urgent plan of action for the defence and recovery of our heritage, declared a World Heritage Site, after the total absence of investment in the last four years.
  • Regulations and extreme controls implemented in coastal areas for the so annoying “party boats”, “beach clubs” and other new formats of tourism, and to regulate tourist and residential living.
  • There must be an active public transport policy promoting long-distance transport that connects all parts of the island, adapted to the seasons and needs of residents and tourists, with adequate bus services. Rental cars and taxis should pursue island-wide integration to strengthen the sector and fight against illegal operators.
  • An absolute rejection of proposals for exploration of oil and gas in the western Mediterranean. The PSOE has already taken a regional commitment to reject the Spanish government surveys.

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Food & Drink

Villa Mercedes Wasabi Nights

  • Stan Farrow

At the start of every season in Ibiza, you’ll notice that a lot of the bars and restaurants around San Antonio have changed. The small little Tapas place that you stumbled upon last year has gone, the interesting little hut that served Mojitos just the way you liked them has turned into a Scooter Hire shop. It seems that nothing ever stays the same and your friends, thinking they’re being taken to a part of the ‘real Ibiza’, now think you’re an idiot.

But fear not, there are a few gems that not only stay the same but seem to get better with age. One such establishment is to be found in a beautiful converted villa right on the portside called Villa Mercedes. Javier and his ridiculously friendly team have spent years serving up top quality food in the most relaxed surroundings. Not content to just be a normal high quality restaurant, the crew at Villa Mercedes often entertain their diners with special events showcasing anything from local flamenco stars to Japan.

Tonight we’re here for Japan and I couldn’t be more nervous. I’ve eaten a lot of Sushi having spent a few years in Los Angeles, and I cannot compute how a feast of Japan’s greatest export is going to be even remotely good when it costs €15. If not for the fact that I have never had a bad meal here, I would probably not have made it through the front door. With trepidation I unleash the chopsticks, get the soy sauce ready and wait for the first round. Ding Ding.

PLATE 1 (in order of consumption)

  • Miso Soup

I always tuck into Miso first, mainly because it gets cold quick. This is just how it should be with flavoursome with chunks of Tofu and delicate slices of Shitake mushroom. We’re off to a good start.

  • Peppered Tuna Sashimi

This is the real test of a Sushi menu as there is nowhere to hide. It’s all about the ingredients and the Tuna stockist needs to take a bow. You can really taste the Tuna and the pepper only enhances it. It’s amazing and I’m feeling way less anxious.

  • Tempura Vegetables

Cooked perfectly and tastes great. One of my five a day in the bag!

  • Fried Wontons

Not sure what is in these, but I don’t really care as they taste great. Some meat for certain and I’ll guess at more vegetables so I can pretend I have two of my five a day.

  • John Dory Ceviche

This is normally a dish from the Central/South Americas consisting of fish cured in lemon or lime. It’s the highlight of the plate; fresh, vibrant and packing flavour. Words can’t describe how good this is.

PLATE 2

  • Fish Rolls

There’s a wide choice here, but they all good. Particularly interesting is the pesto, sun dried tomato and mozzarella roll. It tastes just like a Caprese Salad and confuses the hell out of my taste buds…but in a good way.

  • Niguri

Shrimp and Salmon are on offer. The fish is fresh; the rice is well cooked and sticks together. I still haven’t found anything to moan about.

  • Duck & Fig Roll

Phew, at last a can have a mild whinge. This tastes like duck and hoisin sauce, but it doesn’t work for me with the other dishes. Maybe I’m a little picky.

PLATE 3 (extra cost)

This doesn’t come with the $15 selection, but I’m greedy and this plate has nothing but sweet things on it. Five things, for just 5€ more – so you are still left with that   bargain feeling in your wallet.

The five taste treats are all good, but the highlight for me is the Mango Sorbet. I can’t think of a better way to end any meal.

Well, I’m pleasantly surprised at how good this was. If you like Sushi then you will not be disappointed. If you’re new to Sushi, then give it a whirl because it tastes wonderful and is also pretty healthy. If you absolutely cannot stand the idea of raw fish, then don’t forget the rest of the food at Villa Mercedes is just as good.

Find out more or reserve a table on (+34)971348543 or reservations@villamercedesibiza, and I will leave you with the words of David Hasselhoff – “I think that without sushi there would be no David Hasselhoff, because sushi is like the perfect way of describing the insides of David Hasselhoff. He is like a protein, clean and easy. That’s how I feel about myself.”

  • Large pictures show Wasabi Nights menu for 2 @ 15€ p.p. Inset picture desert taster for 2 @ 5€ p.p.

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At Night

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Cox line up

  • Nick G

Carl Cox kicks off his 14thyear at Space on July 7th. For opening night Slovenia’s superstar DJ, Spain’sburn Residency 2014 winnerRowbe looking after the covered terrace, whilst on 14thit will be his illustriousimprint who present exclusive sets from Cox’s management company Safehouse’s new signingGlass.

On 21stRecordsbossFanciulli, Alan FitzpatrickPoland’sN’ Dogzbe hosting the terrace whilst on 28th, Carl’s birthday night and always a highlight in the calendar,on takeover duty boasting sets from label headRundellwith Intec favouriteVarelanewcomerJoe Brunning.

Space Out

  • Nick G

Ibiza’s traditional main season starter the Space Opening party has been pushed back from the planned 24th May to the following weekend on the 31st.

The change has been forced upon them as the 24th May is the date of Spain’s municipal, regional and national elections. Space falls within the San Jose borough of Ibiza and the council have said they cannot provide the necessary police for security and surveillance.

Space issued a public apology for the last minute reshuffle. All tickets purchased for the 24th will be eligible for refunds or valid for the 31st. The cancellation was greeted with surprise and disappointment in the Hotel sector. The manager of one of Ibiza’s 4 stars put the views of many succinctly with his comment “WTF?”

Ballet Rocks

  • Claire B

More acts have been announced to play at Ibiza Rocks this summer, as the venue celebrates its 10th year of bringing live music to the island. New additions include Rudimental, Catfish And The Bottlemen and Spandau Ballet, who join Jungle, The Libertines, Clean Bandit, Fatboy Slim and The Courteeners who were announced earlier. Supports come from hotly tipped new talents Slaves, Shura, Krept & Konan, Blonde, Karen Harding and Sam Sure.

Ibiza Rocks 2015 line-up so far:

17/06 Opening party with Years & Years | Blonde

24/06 Sigma | Krept & Konan

01/07 Jungle | Shura

15/07 Catfish And The Bottlemen

22/07 10th birthday with The Libertines | Slaves

29/07 Rudimental | Sam Sure

05/08 Clean Bandit | Karen Harding

19/08 Spandau Ballet

02/09 Fatboy Slim presents Smile High Club

16/09 Closing party with The Courteeners

REBEL HEARTS

Ibiza’s newly formed all girl Rock Band Rebel Hearts are going down a storm so catch them now before they record a gatefold concept album and embark on a world stadium tour. Thursday (21:30) – Stevie D’s, Cala De Bou

Saturday (12h) – Cala Llonga Beach

Sunday (15h) – Can Pa, Cala Vadella

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Local News

Record March for Airport

Ibiza Airport achieved record passenger numbers recording an increase of 13.7% in the month of March.

A total of 164,527 travellers passed through the airport.

The number of departure and arrival flights increased by 13.4% up to 1,939

Domestic flights increased by 8.1% to 151,426 passengers spread over 1,511 flights.

International travellers totalled  12,966 and the biggest growth at an increase of 67.2%,is to and from the UK which accounts for  5,707 passengers – around 40% of the international total.

Dutch business is also on the up  because of the new route to Eindhoven inaugurated in autumn 2014, and the Netherlands accounted for a further 2,728 passengers of the international total.

Next come Germany and Italy with 1,634 and 1,817 respectively.

Cumulative figures

Ibiza Airport has accumulated 383,887 passengers in the first three months of the year, a figure which represents an increase of 11.8% over the same period in  2014. Flights in the quarter total

4,773, an increase of 6.1%.

Euro Driving Licences

N332 is run by a group of Spanish Traffic Police Officers who provide motoring advice in English.  Advice from the experts.

In order to clarify some of the confusion which has arisen over foreign residents in Spain changing their driving license for a Spanish one, the DGT has issued an instruction which details the obligations of both drivers and law enforcers in dealing with the issue.

Firstly, if your license has an indefinite date, or more than 15 years validity and you were legally resident in Spain before January 19th, 2013, you should have already renewed your driving license. If you only became resident after that date, you have until 2 years from your date of residency to renew.

Secondly, if your license has expired or is due to expire, you must renew it in your country of residence, in other words, if you are a resident in Spain, your current license, once it expires, must be renewed in Spain.

Perhaps also important is the fact that Spain has adopted a transitional period in which those drivers who are resident must comply, on account of there being so many foreigners living in the country. No sanctions of fines would be issued before January 1st, 2016, to allow drivers sufficient time to renew their license.

However, if a driver is stopped by traffic police and is found to be in violation of the rule and has not renewed their license and exchanged it for a Spanish equivalent, then their details would be recorded and forwarded to the DGT, where details would be added to the central computer system, so that if the driver is stopped again and is found still to have not changed their license within a six month period, and after the enforcement date of January 1st, 2016, then sanctions would become applicable and a 200 euro fine would be issued. There will be leniency if the driver can prove that an appointment has been made and is due in which the renewal is scheduled if it is beyond the six month or final date period.

The driver, when stopped in the first instance, will also be given an information sheet, in Spanish, detailing the reasons why the license must be renewed, and the procedure for doing so. If there is any doubt as to the residency status of the driver, the law enforcers will still record their details and send them to the traffic department to investigate the official status of the driver in question.

The text above is a summary of the instruction provided by the N332 group on Facebook. You can follow them for more information relating to driving in Spain by searching “N332”. The full text, in Spanish, is also available on the website,

http://n332.es

who have also provided a translation of the most important elements in English in more detail.

The full article is available at

http://bit.ly/1DjFGOE

or search “driving license renewal” at

http://n332.es

Pintxos 2015 Finalists

Thursday 16th at 6pm is showdown time for the finalists of this year’s Pintxos competition when the top ten restaurants and bars as voted for by the public will find out who this year’s winner will be.

The ten finalists are:-

  • Can Gust
  • Can Simon
  • Zebra art and grill
  • Entice
  • Hostal Mari
  • Villa Mercedes
  • Es Puig
  • Café Cervantes
  • Es Verro
  • Es Ventall

The winner in 2014 and in the finals again this year is Entice.

The Long Walk

  • Claire B

About 70 people took part in ‘The Long Walk’ on Saturday April 11th, a 30km walk from San Antonio to San Jose, organised by The Ibiza Walking Association to raise money for Ibizan charities. Congratulations to all those who took part and thanks to everybody that has donated.

At the time of going to press, nearly 4,000 euros have been raised, but the total should increase as pledged donations come in. The charities benefiting are: Mojis animal sanctuary, 24-7, Food for Ibiza (feeding needy families), The Ibizan Preservation Society, Care4Cats, APNEEF (helps children with special educational needs), Asama (provides sound therapy), a children’s orphanage, the Fertile Roots Foundation and The Art Club of Ibiza.

You can still donate – everything is gratefully received and every cent raised is passed onto the charities:

http://www.ibizalongwalk.com/donate

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Gallery …

Our Congratulations go out to four loved up couples this week. Top left: Mr and Mrs Glen and Julie Battams on the occasion of their 25th anniversary. Glen is one of the Ibizan’s many frequent flyer/regular online readers. Middle left: Mr and Mrs Peter and Lee Duncan who had their ceremony hosted at Tapas on Saturday. Everybody who knows Lee will want to join me in saying how especially wonderful it is to see her dancing.   Below: Mr and Mrs Paul and Katie Reynolds plus Masters Jackson and Archie. It’s not a traditional wedding photo, but I’m sure those who know them will agree it is totally Reynolds. Right: Jack and Lynn remember to do something they meant to get round to a long time ago.  It’s never too late. Love to you all, from us all. xx

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St George’s Day

San Jordi Fiestas

  • Claire B

The town of San Jordi has an annual fiesta for its patron saint San Jordi (or St George in English), which lasts throughout April and May. April 23rd is the main fiesta day of San Jordi, where there’ll be mass followed by a procession through the main streets, followed by a concert in the evening, but there is also an impressive range of cultural and sporting events taking place over the next few weeks. Events announced include a car show, a winemaking competition, films, dancing, live music and activities for children including workshops.

Friday April 17th at 8pm sees ‘Swing and Roll’, an evening full of rock ‘n’ roll music and dance, starring Fat ‘Gumbo’ Bradley, Blues Mafia I Es Saligardos, Shakin ‘All (from Barcelona) and DJ Ric Jazzbo. If you want some dance lessons you can have some from the Belen Gas Sunset Swing Club.

On Saturday April 18th at 8.30pm is the 5th ‘Tour Jordier’, in which many of the bars and restaurants in the town participate. They offer a tapa plus a glass of beer, wine or soft drink for 2.50€. Many of the bars around the town will have live music or DJs playing: Can Sala (Ho Femme Fatale), Can Tommy, Rascalobos, Las Olas, Sargantana (The Frigolos, next to the Heladeria Sant Jordi), Ses Barsetes de Sant Jordi (Moonshine Band and DJ Lost Angels). De tal Palo will be playing music in various locations throughout the night.

Thursday April 23rd is San Jordi day (corresponding to St George’s day in England), where there will be a traditional mass at midday, followed by a procession through the streets of the town. At 9.30pm there’s a concert with performances from Aires Formenterencs (Formentera) and Fora des Sembrat (Mallorca).

Most of the main events take place in the Plaça de Sant Jordi, which is the open space behind the church. More details here:

http://www.santjosep.org

And for the full programme

http://bit.ly/1J2v9aF

Back on the Dragon

St George’s Day Ibiza is back for 2015 with a great day of everything English planned – but this time with added Curry!

Everyone Invited

Whatever banter may follow in paragraphs below we hope people of every nationality will come along and enjoy the day with us.

Charity

Raising money for charity whilst enjoying yourself has to be the best way to do both, and this year we have some terrific causes who will receive the proceeds. We are not about bleeding you dry, we understand that for many it is the last month of a long winter before work starts again and hence we keep everything at community friendly prices. More of that below. Our 3 charities are:-

  1. Food for Ibiza. This local group provides direct food aid to Ibiza’s most needy families. A wonderful project run by some very committed people.
  2. Mariposa Hardship fund. The ex-pat community is all about community and there is no better example than the folk of Cala Llonga who have rallied round to support one of their own who has fallen on very difficult times.
  3. Eye Surgery for Children. We are totally impressed by the work of Formentera resident Rafael who, every year, travels to Africa with a team of Surgeons all working totally free and paying their own expenses. The team provide eye surgery to children infected by the Tsetse Fly. They can provide the surgery at 50€ per child, 50€ to save a child’s eyesight – it’s a no brainer.

Football

The day kicks off with a kick off in the second England vs Rest of the World football match with the pride of an Empire, sorry pride of a nation, at stake.

England won the first encounter in 2013, just. In a tight match ending 1-1 it went to penalties and England just secured the win. This year England truly take on the dragon, with the rest of the world team lead by Welshman  Mathew Peel. We asked Matthew what he thought his chances were, but to be frank couldn’t understand a word he said. There were lots of ll’s and phlegm involved and it may have had something to do with which way they wanted to play on the pitch first half as we are sure he said something about English and up their grasses.

The game kicks off at 12 noon  or as soon after that as we’ve explained to the opposition how to play the game. We invented it you know, have we mentioned that before?

12 noon, San Antonio Football Stadium, which is immediately behind the main bus station in San Antonio, or by car from Ibiza turn right at the Lidl roundabout, left at the next.

Linekers Party

Then it’s time to hotfoot it back to Linekers on the seafront promenade in San Antonio. Plenty of free parking on Av Doctor Fleming in the open Public Car Parks.

We’ve a great party planned including live music with various acts through the day, DJ chip doing his stuff – ask him nicely and he might even do some bingo. We’ll have stalls with all things English, can you taste the home-made sausage rolls, scotch eggs, (can they be English),   scones and buns yet?

If that’s making you hungry time to move on to the main course – you can’t whack Bangers and Mash so that’s what we’ll have. Plus a full BBQ burning at low low prices and no less than Mr John Ship at the tongs.  Not forgetting, of course, the English national dish that is our favourite Curry! (well it wouldn’t be fair to ask Scott the do that many fish and chips again).

We have to give a huge thanks to Duane, George, Dave and everybody at Linekers, not only for allowing us to stage the event in the most English of all English bars, but also of offering such great  drinks deals. Linekers are donating 50c from every drink to the charities, the more you drink the better you’ll feel about yourself – result. Don’t worry though, they haven’t increased their prices, they have reduced them. 1.50€ for a beer, 2.50€ for a spirit and mixer – has to be deal of the day -and even if you want premium top shelf spirits it will only set you back 3.50€ with mixer.

Children

Little ones are most welcome to the event which kicks off at 2pm, so a much better option after the school run than going home to ironing and chores. There is a small play park immediately next door to Linekers and of course a huge beach in front.  We’ll also have face painting and games for the little ones, plus slush puppies and ice creams.

Raffle and Auction.

We hope to raise some good funds for the charity in a raffle and auction of prizes donated by the very generous Ibiza business community. If you are able to offer a prize  or wish to get involved in any way please contact  the Ibizan. The donations have started to arrive and you can keep posted on what is on offer and all other news of the event by joining the St George’s Day Ibiza facebook group and event (see below)

Cry Harry for England, and St George!

Info & Donations.

www.facebook.com/groups/stgeorgesdayibiza

editor@theibizan.com

Tel 638 923 119

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Community …

Letter From Juan

This is it – the moment you have been waiting for – the last one! Number 500 approximately, for I did start writing 10 years ago in January 2005 and as I have only missed the odd week when the paper was not printed, the number should be greater. I never could count! No matter, in my records this is numbered 500. I thought of just writing Goodbye or maybe I should say “Au Revoir” then I remembered the sketch in “Beyond the Fringe” where the second World War RAF Squadron Leader standing in front of his Flight Commander and had just accepted this extremely dangerous mission and he had been informed that there was no way he or his Pilots would survive. After having accepted the mission, he saluted his Commander and said these words to his Commander who looked up at him and said “No Higgins, it is goodbye”. So I was slightly worried that my Editor would say that to me, (just kidding). Talking of editors, I would like to thank my three editors, Chris Langley, Dan Darvey and Nick Gibbs for their support and patience over the years but most of all I would like to thank you for bothering to read my letters. Looking back, I see I covered many varied, sometimes topical and at other times quirky subjects from roundabouts to rubbish tipping with the occasional quote and the usual mixture of waffle thrown in. Just because I am not writing to you anymore don’t forget to go out and see the wonders of the Island, the beautiful scenery, the flowers and the beaches. So will I miss staring at that blank page on my computer every Monday morning? No, not really, partly because I will still be doing that as I endeavour to complete the children’s book that I have been writing and who knows if I see something on the Island that is really strange, beautiful or annoying I may drop you a line. I think I just heard the Editor saying “No Juan, it is goodbye”! So that’s it and if you have been reading this thanks for reaching the end and as my old Scots friends would say “Lang may your Lum reek”! For the Sassenachs amongst you it translates as “Long may your Chimney Smoke” on the basis if you had a fire, you had coal, if you had coal you had money and if you had a money you had food and your health.

Have a good one, yours ever, Juan.

  • Huge thanks to Juan from myself, but with a modest 52 letters in my tenure also from Daniel Darvey my predecessor who has 396 more reasons to be thankful. Dan contacted the office this week and asked me to be sure and pass on his thanks for dedication. As is customary following such lengthy service Mike will receive a presentation Gold Watch, just as soon as my friend from Nigeria is back on the streets selling them. And so to the big reveal. Just who is the man of mystery responsible for the copious correspondence. We’ll ask him to explain himself, after all it takes Juan to know Juan.

“My first name is John hence the reason for “Juan” although I have always been know as Michael

I was born in Glasgow during the war 1943. I have been associated with Ibiza since 1982 whenbought an apartment for holidays. I have  lived here since 1998.”

Michael MacDonald

They Think It’s All Over – But It Isn’t

Despite the inclement weather our Beach Football Tournament took place last Sunday on the beach at Cala Llonga, however the Live Music and Paella couldn’t go ahead due to the persistently strong winds. So, this coming Saturday 18yh April we’ll give it another go. Starting from 1pm we’ll be making the trophy presentations, serving Felipe’s Paella (just 10€) and listening and dancing to the sounds of the recently formed band Rebel Hearts. Everyone is welcome to join us. The Viva Cala Llonga Team

The Far East

  • The 2 Old Rockers

Tax Amnesty For Pensioners. We have learned that the Spanish government is granting a special deadline for income tax declarations to all foreign nationals who are resident in Spain, as well as to any Spanish pensioners who have returned to the country after emigrating. These people can now pay the whole amount of tax owed to the tax authorities without payment of any penalties or fines.

If you reside in Spain for more than 183 days in a year, you are automatically classed as a resident for tax purposes, and as a consequence your worldwide income must be taxed in Spain. This also includes your pension. If you are retired and  haven’t presented a tax declaration in Spain yet, you have until the middle of this year (31st June 2015)  to submit a declaration and pay the tax, free from any penalties or interest.

There are now minimum amounts below which no income tax needs to be declared. For 2013, this minimum annual income for foreign pensions stood normally at 11,200€. This amount is irrespective of whether you want to be assessed on your own or together with your spouse. However, this does not apply to government pensions (for civil servants), as these must always be taxed in the country of origin.

The increasingly closer exchange of information and data between the various European tax authorities had made the Spanish Treasury aware of how many foreign pensioners and emigrants who have returned from abroad, do not pay tax at all on their foreign pensions here, or at least do not do it according to the rules. Pensioners are often have greater difficulties understanding the legal situation in Spain, as they have possibly been living abroad for many years. On the other hand they generally do not have many assets. That is why the Spanish government has set a special deadline of 6 months, beginning on 01.01.2015 to give such persons an opportunity to clear their debts with the tax office by paying 100% of their tax and spar­ing themselves any interest and penalties for late pay­ment. We would like to thank Paul Sheppard from Ebusus for bringing this matter to our attention and as always recommend that you always seek professional qualified advice when making decisions concerning your financial affairs.

We’ll miss you! Our good friend and co-correspondent Juan is hanging up his pen, or should that be keyboard and mouse? Over his 500 editions we have laughed, cried, despaired, but mostly thoroughly enjoyed his weekly letter, or as some call it, his rantings. Imparting his knowledge and opinions regarding so many aspects of the island has he saw it, flowers, birds, painted trees, not to mention his at one time obsession with roundabouts. He also occasionally gave us an insight to his personal life’s dramas, losing passports, (never his fault) speeding fines, feral cats and credit card abuse by his long suffering wife. His encounters with Ryanair were something else that seemed to wind him up until he learned that if you follow their rules and not your own, flying with them can be quite simple. His one other frustration was that no matter how he tried he couldn’t match our previous night time escapades. We did “cross pens” on a few occasions but it was always good natured and taken in the right spirit (whisky as a rule). We, and we’re sure many others, will miss his weekly contribution, but as the newspaper evolves new people will contribute articles and like us instead of spending Sundays and Mondays bashing away at a keyboard, he’ll be out enjoying the island he loves so much. We know our paths will continue to cross during social events and Wandering. We hope that like us you’ll enjoy the extra time that “retirement” brings. You may even manage to finish that house painting you’ve been going on about for ages. Yours, The 2 Old Rockers.

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View from the Pew

Easter was such a wonderful, happy time! We had the biggest happiness injection as we wrapped up the food appeal for Cáritas! It was so exciting to see how many people cared and spontaneously put something in the baskets for those in Santa Eulalia and San Antonio, who are still hungry and homeless.

Huge Hugest Thanks to Fiona and the kids at Morna International School and to Jillian of Thomas Green’s Supermarket!

More thanks to everyone who collected and gave spontaneously to help our neighbours in need.

Thomas Green’s started their own food collection and Fiona Robertson and the kids from Morna organized and held a fund-raising project, collecting 201€ worth of food and basic needs – especially nappies and baby food!

You all are amazingly amazing!

Ibiza puts on a pretty face for tourists and visitors, but reality here for some is very grim, muy duro. For many, La Crisis is not finished until jobs become available.

Jesus’ heart was with those who don’t have a home of their own, and he said of himself:

“…foxes have holes, bird’s have their nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Proverbs 19:17 – “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord and He will repay them for their deed.”

Thank You Again!!!

Next Service: Sun 19th April in Santa Eulalia at 10:30am (note the venue and hour change)

English-speaking Church of Ibiza and Form. Tel. 971 343383

It’s Good To Talk

  • Kate Stillman

Dear Kate

I am in a marriage that I do not want to be in anymore, my partner has suffered from depression for many years and I have found it very difficult to be around him. I care for him deeply but can see my life slipping away and huge feelings of regret looming for a life that hasn’t been “lived”.

I have huge feelings of guilt and that I am abandoning him when perhaps he needs me, but I have tried everything and simply feel that I am not the person who can make him better. I don’t really know what help I am asking for but I felt I had to talk / write to someone as I fear many of our friends will be shocked by my decision and not be able to support me, which is fine, he will need more support than me and I really do hope they give it to him.

Yours, CM.

Dear CM

Thank you for your letter and I am sorry your marriage has come to an end. It sounds as if you have been in a difficult and unhappy situation for some time through no fault of yours or your husbands. Depression is an awful illness and often very misunderstood. It tests relationships to the limit and often ends them.

I hear you when you say you feel guilty, I also hear you when you say you can see your life slipping away, living with someone who has depression is disabling for you both and makes it hard to share and enjoy every day experiences. It sounds as if you have been supportive for as long as you can be and in reality that is all you can do, every person has a different point at which they have to back away and if you have reached yours then you have reached it and the guilt that you are feeling is not going to serve you or your husband in building a new future. There are no rights and wrongs to these types of situations, friends and family may judge or take sides but you are the only person who is actually living it and you have to make your own decisions based on what is best for you, your family and most importantly what you can manage moving forward.

I wish you the best with the choices you make, a gentle reminder that our Free support group meets every Tuesday in San Lorenzo, all are welcome to attend.

Warm Regards, Kate.

For contact details see Kate’s advert in local services.

Age Concern

Age Concern is holding their very popular Bingo Afternoon at the Olive Tree, Cala de Bou on Thursday 23rd April, at 3pm. This is a very popular event, so please book your seats early. Please call Tony on 971 347641 to reserve a place.

Raffle prizes will be gratefully received.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Royal Accolade

Owner of the Royal Plaza Hotel, Snr Colomar, is to receive acknowledgement of his lifetime achievements including his business career in the  hotel industry and work within the charitable sector and arts world including that with the cancer association and  MACE museum association, theatre association, etc.

We were lucky enough to meet Mr Colomar recently, and during conversation topics such as dinner with Imelda Marcos crop up with the same casual approach many of us would put what we had for our tea on facebook.

A wonderful character having lead a very colourful life.

The presentation takes place at Can Ventosa Friday at 8pm.

Postbag …

Age Concern.

Dear Editor

Age Concern Ibiza and Formentera would like to express their gratitude to Margaret Nawaz and her many helpers for their hard work in organising the Easter Fair held on the 4th April at Bar Cruce in San Rafael, which was in aid of Los Olvidados and Age Concern. We can not thank Margaret enough for her kind donation of 2100€ which will go towards our aimto help olderon the Island. Tony Curtis, President

Thank You

Dear Editor

I would like to thank everybody who supported Concord 66’s Ladies Night last Saturday 11th April. As a result of the money raised on Saturday and on two previous occasions I was able to present a Cheque on behalf of the Lodge to the President of APNEEF for 2000€. It was greatly appreciated and I know this money will be put to great use helping children with mental and physical disadvantages and their parents cope with their extremely difficult circumstances. Thank you again for your support, yours, Michael MacDonald.

Photo of Juan

Dear Editor,

I understand Michael MacDonald finishes his journalistic career this week. On behalf of all readers can I wish him all the best, and together with the photo enclosed would like to say, congratulations to Juan on your retirement – now you can really party!

Jennifer Dolby

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Sport

F1 China

  • Rhian Gibbs

Mercedes may have gotten the 1, 2 again, but the race in China was not without its drama. Hamilton would have won a comfortable 4 seconds ahead of his team-mate Rosberg had it not have been for the engine of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso. In the final laps the safety car was deployed while the stricken Toro Rosso was rescued by Martials – a cruel twist of fate for the Dutch-Belgian who had been in right in the points racing alongside the likes of Ricciardo, for me he was the star of China.

Hamilton took the chequered flag 1st with Rosberg 2nd, another great race from Mercedes ensuring their dominance in the Constructors title. Vettel for Ferrari also joined them on the podium taking 3rd, there may have been a thought that he could challenge the Silver Arrows but with all on the same tyre strategy it became apparent he didn’t have the pace to race. His team-mate Raikkonen was hot on his heals 4th and looked like he could have given Vettel a run for his money, unfortunately the safety car prevented that little battle from taking place.

Massa and Bottas of Williams squabbled throughout the race and despite coming 5th and 6th respectively they still lost out to Ferrari, something we didn’t see last season. Lotus had a mixed race with Grosjean bringing the points home in 7th but Maldonado may wish to choose a different race number, thirteen is unlucky for some and it appears to be affecting the Venezuelan. He lost ground from overshooting the pit lane entry reportedly due to ‘brake issues’, recovered from a spin and then showed some impressive moves racing with Button’s McLaren, it was a collision with the Brit that meant he retired lap 49.

Sauber had a decent race with both cars finishing in the points, Nasr put his troubles from Malaysia behind him and was rewarded with 8th, his team-mate Ericsson picked up the final point coming 10th with the Red Bull of Ricciardo 9th. Red Bull continue to suffer with a poor start from Ricciardo meaning he faced a monumental battle to gain any ground and Kvyat was forced to retire lap 16 with engine problems.

Perez just lost out on the points for Force India crossing the line 11th, his three-stop strategy did see him inside the top ten for most of the race but ultimately he lacked pace to grab that final point. His team-mate Hulkenberg retired lap 10 with a broken gearbox.

McLaren at least saw both cars cross the line, Alonso took 12th on a different strategy to Button, and Button’s final standing was 14th after receiving a five-second penalty for causing the collision with Maldonado’s Lotus. 13th place went to Sainz of Toro Rosso, he suffered and recovered a spin on the second lap and continued despite intermittent gearbox issues. Marussia were the final team to cross the line but they did with both cars. Stevens took 15th and Merhi 16th, they were two laps down on the race winner and Merhi also received a five-second penalty for failing to stay above the time mandate whilst running behind the safety car.

After race interviews were filled with Rosberg’s fury at Hamilton for ruining his race, Verstappen has been likened to Senna or Schumacher in his ability to ‘feel’ the car and the media have nicknamed the Lotus driver ‘Crashtor’ Maldonado, you can check a website dedicated to him

www.hasmaldonadocrashedtoday.com

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Jezza’s Sports Report …

Jeremy Parmenter

  • Golf

Now, altho’ due, I’m not going to claim any of the credit, but I did say in last week’s diatribe that Rory McIlroy is going to have to go some to keep the American challenge, headed by Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, at bay at the US Masters in Augusta that finished on Sunday and so it proved as a star is born methinks, with Spieth, having led from Day 1, completing his rout to win by 4 with a score of -18, equalling the Masters record. What an incredible feat at the tender age of 21, just a few months older than Tiger when he won a few years ago. Having said that he was pushed all the way during the final round by Brit Justin Rose and compatriot Mickelson, who both carded a score of -14, followed in by McIlroy with a creditable finish with a 66, the best round of the final day, in 4th. So, two Brits in the first 4 can’t be bad but even better news was that Brits Poulter and Casey also finished in the top 10 to complete a very good tourney for European golf. Also, great to see Tiger, after all his recent injury problems, coming back, albeit slowly, with an overall -5 score.

  • Horseracing

Oh, woe for champion jockey and favourite AP McCoy and the nation’s hopes in the Grand National at Aintree, as he finished 5th, despite looking good in 2nd coming up to the final jump. Mind you what a result for Leighton Aspell on Many Clouds (at 25-1) as he became the first jockey since Bryan Marshall in 1954, to win back-to-back Nationals on two different horses, having won last year aboard Pineau de Re. Also congrats to 17 year old Sean Bowen, in his maiden National, who came in a very creditable 11th.

  • Cricket

Sad news from Down Under as Australian legend and icon Richie Benaud passed away after a long fight against the big C. For those of us brought up in the 60’s/70’s, his commentary was as much a part of the Test Scene as Jim Laker and John Arlott, with his favourite saying, in that wonderful Aussie accent, of “bowled him”. How on earth he was never knighted for his contribution to world cricket, not only as a commentator, but also as a legend on the field, I will never know so RIP “Sir” Richie, and long may our memories of you last.

With the 1st Test between England and the Windies starting later today in Antigua, all the English media, always trying to stir it up, could prioritise was KP’s 170 in his first match for Surrey and inevitable clamour for his inclusion in the England side. Sorry, mate, but however good that score was, it was against Oxford University, hardly a county side, and not only that, but with Alistair Cook as skipper and one of the 3 Test selectors, it ain’t going to happen and, in my opinion, nor should it.

On the island scene, t’was great to be part of Saturday’s first win at our new ground at Ibiza Polo Club next to the Atzaro and no doubt bro Robin’s report will follow!

  • Rugby Union

In the Premiership, a slight surprise, as leaders Northampton lost out at Exeter, now in 4th, 21-10, to have their lead cut to 6 points, whilst both Saracens and Bath, joint 2nd, won, the former at home to Leicester and the latter at Newcastle, with the top 4 heading to the end of season play-offs. Elsewhere, Harlequins beat Gloucester by 3 in a 55 point thriller, Wasps beat already relegated London Welsh, and Sale lost out to London Irish.

  • Rugby League

With Super League now well in to the season, Leeds, after a 28-18 defeat of Salford, lead the way by 4, with St Helens in 2nd, after their 11-8 win over Huddersfield bringing their 3 game losing run to an end, followed by Wigan, 34 nil winners over Catalans, but spare a thought for sorry Wakefield as they were absolutely smashed by as they visited Warrington by 80-0!

  • Footie

In the Premier League it was business as usual for leaders and title hopefuls Chelsea as they passed a tricky test at QPR, 1-0, with an 88th minute winner to keep their lead over Arsenal, also 1-0 winners at Burnley, to 7 points (with a game in hand) but this w/end was all about the Manc derby at OT and hats off to United who exposed City’s frailties to come out 4-2 winners, the first time in the last 6 meetings between the sides that the Red Devils have come out on top. Sorry, Sñr Pellegrini, but that’s your season blown and I’m sure your job in jeopardy, as you’re now in 4th, a point behind Utd, but at least you’re still in those Champions League places. Southampton are well in to a Europa League place, in 5th, after their 2-0 home win over Hull, who are getting dangerously close to the relegation places, being only 2 points clear. Surprise result at the Lane as Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by FA Cup semi-finalists Aston Villa, with manager Sherwood putting one over his old club whilst Cup semi opponents Liverpool, by dint of their tight 1-0 midweek win over Blackburn Rovers, can jump in to 5th if they win at Anfield Against Newcastle tonight. Best result came at West Bromwich where bottom team Leicester recorded a much needed 3-2 win, to close the gap to only 3 points from safety. Worst result had to be at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland, recently showing a bit of form under new manager Advocaat, were humbled 4-1 by in form Crystal Palace, to put the Black Cats right back in the poo, being only 3 points off the danger zone. Finally, two 1-1 draws, firstly at Swansea with Everton and secondly at Upton Park between comfortable mid-table opponents West Ham and Stoke.

The Championship now and ’tis still incredibly tight and exciting at the top with only 2 points between the top 4 and those two automatic promotion places, currently filled by Bournemouth after their 2-0 win at Brighton and Norwich, 2-1 victors at Bolton with a 1 goal diff over Watford, in 3rd after their 2-0 win at Millwall, a point ahead of Middlesboro’ after their same score result at home over Rotherham. The other two play-off places contain Derby, following a 1-1 draw at home with play-off hopefuls Brentford, themselves only separated by goal diff from Ipswich, back in the hunt after their 3-2 home win over already-relegated Blackpool. However, don’t discount Wolves yet, as they are on the same points, despite their 2-1 loss away at Birmingham in a Midlands derby.

Finally, in La Liga, it’s still the same old suspects vying for top spot, but Barça’s 4 point lead was whittled down to 2, as they drew 2-2 at Sevilla with Real Madrid taking advantage with a 3-0 home win over Eibar. Big local match at Atlético Madrid on Tuesday as Real go head-to-head with their city rivals in the first leg of the European Champions League Quarter Final with Ancelotti’s team looking to take a lead back to the Bernabeu for the return leg in a fortnight while Barça travel to Paris St Germain on Wednesday for their first leg.

‘Tis all for this week but I can’t go without a mention and a great send-off from the Sports Department of the Ibizan saying a big “¡Adios y felicidades!” to colleague Juan, as we understand that this edition contains his 500th and final letter so, dear friend, enjoy your retirement and thanks a bunch for leaving me as the oldest regular “journo” on the paper! Jezza

Ponent 17-7 Grand Final

  • Johnny Ruckhard

Wander peacefully through the plaza in Santa Gertrudis and you will see (as well as many fabulous places to drink coffee like Ullivans or Bar Costa) a curious seated figure crafted from bronze where many children sit upon his lap and play with no knowledge of who he is and what his role was. There is a hole in his chest and hole in the finger that marks where his ecclesiastical ring or seal would have been placed. He is the first Bishop of Ibiza Manuel Abad y Lasierra and Grand Inquisitor of Spain from 1793 -1794.

As we passed La Seu (the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria, Palma) on our way to the grand final… Liga de Baleares de Rugby against our opponents Ponent “B” I could not help but wonder if the team we were about to play would have the same players we beat in the semi final called Ponent “A”. It was clear from the 3rd and 4th place “play off” between Bahia and Ponent “A”, staged just before the Grand Final, that none of the players on the field of play were the same players from Ponent “A” that we played against a fortnight before. At that point I could not help feel sorry for the players of the “B” team who had won their place in the final by beating Bahia in the semi final play offs but had not been selected to play in the final, effectively making their B team [in reality] their A team.

It set the tone, in my opinion, not in keeping with the spirit of the game of rugby and somehow morally distorted. No matter, it was a hard competitive game with both sides evenly matched. Both teams looked sharp and ready to contest every area of the game. Early blood was drawn by Ponent B [A] with an attacking line out catch and drive from their forwards, converted 7-0 Ponent B (A)? It was a statement as usually Ibiza’s forwards are dominant and Ponent’s backs superior out wide.

Ponent swung the ball wide, created an overlap and covering full back Nick Strange, with no sweeping 14 or 9 to cover, was chipped and then adjudged to have obstructed the attacker and yellow carded. It was a huge blow to Ibiza and Ponent applied extreme pressure with an extra man on the field. Three yellow cards were issued in first 20 mins (2 Ibiza 1 Ponent) on another day with another referee none would have been issued for the same offences.did create an edgy feel to game and yet some fine rugby came from both sides.

Ponent A or B scored a second try (unconverted) to make the score 12-0. Ibiza pressed several times but did not come away with points, several times opting to tap and go instead of taking the 3 pts. It was ambitious play but in big games important decisions have to be made and taking points from territorial gain is critical. Just before the stroke of half time a marauding drive by the forwards created good ball for the backs and Paul Shepherd broke thean outstanding run to the fending off a sea of would be tacklers. Try converted and just one score between the sides with 12pts-7 at half time.

There was no lack of endeavourIbiza with Danny Langley and Lucas Lassalle scrapping for every ball in the contact area. Lassalle provided real “dog” and Langley at just 18 years of age brought guile, ingenuity and an engine that growled and ran on the highest octane fuel for 80 mins. Harvey and Safar Dutton scrimmaged with real intensity, the latter playing both front and second row during the game. Perez and Ruiz provided clean accurate ball but needed a little more zip to provide faster ball for the back line to operate with more penetration.

In the end Ibiza fell short and Ponent scored a last minute try to make the final score 17-7. Immediately after they scored, Sparrano ran to the half way line and skewed a quick re-start with no support at a time when Ibiza needed possession and control. Possession and control of the ball was lost and so was the game. It was indicative of the difference between the two sides and should not have been allowed to happen by the captain who failed to impose his leadership at a key moment.

It was a game of ecumenical proportions in the Balearic League and fort in a fair but hard manner by the players selected to represent their team A or B. The Federacion whose President (incidentally) is the President of Rugby Club Ponent as a leader has set a moral tone of acceptance by allowing Ponent to field there best players for both the “A” and “B” team. It may not be as morally questionable as the Spanish Inquisition who believed “confessionem esse veram, non factam vi tormentorum” (literally: [a person’s] confession is truth, not made by way of torture, but accepted the confession after the torture had finished but I suspect those same distortions of what is fair and in the “spirit” of an inquisition started somewhere much the same as running a Federacion and turning a blind eye to spirit of the game of rugby.)

Classifieds & Local Services

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Information …

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Tarotscope – Thursday  16th  to  Wednesday  22nd   April

ARIES – Ace of Wands

Be on the lookout for new business opportunities. A project or idea could get off the ground this week, just make sure you know what your goals are. Social events bring you into contact with those who further your interests, therefore it would be wise to get out and about. This is a new era for you so remain optimistic.

TAURUS – Three of Swords

If you’re pushed to the limit by someone’s unreasonable behaviour, be careful not to turn a skirmish into a war. The old saying goes two’s company, but three’s a crowd so be aware of who’s coming between you and someone/something that’s important. Don’t let past incidents cloud your thinking, you’ll need a sharp mind sharp to deal with tricky situations.

GEMINI – The World

The world is literally at your feet as this card indicates ambition coupled with success, you’re firing on all cylinders. You’ve worked hard and gone through the ‘apprenticeship’ stage and you’re coming into your own. Plans are coming together rather nicely. Thoughts regarding long distance travel need to be explored further as it could be the trip of a lifetime.

CANCER – Knight of Wands

Take opportunities to travel, especially for career or to broaden your education. The people you meet and what you will learn could end up having a big impact on your future. Creative Cancerians do especially well this week as others are more than willing to back your bright ideas. New business opportunities will also flourish and colleagues have your back.

LEO – Transformation

The past is done so don’t look back as the only way to go is forward, you feel OK with changes going on around you and are able to release old fears. You now realise that the only person standing in your way is you, doing things in the old way will get you nowhere. New situations present exciting opportunities.

VIRGO – The Hierophant

If you’ve had unforeseen obstacles to any important plans recently, don’t give up on them yet. The tide turns in your favour and you receive help from an unexpected source. Let go of the past and look inward for inspiration, let your intuition guide you. Ditch old routines and embrace the new as it’s good to ring in some changes.

LIBRA – Nine of Pentacles

At last a welcome improvement to your finances this week, just be sensible and don’t fritter money away needlessly – save for a rainy day. Remember though, money’s round to go around, so help someone who really needs it. If you’re hoping to finalise a financial agreement, good news comes sooner rather than later and you get what you want.

SCORPIO – King of Cups

Kind, generous, wise people help you to get the most out of this week. You’re bowled over by those who have no agenda but to make your life considerably easier. A big event could happen and you’re closer to fulfilling a dream, all heart-warming stuff! Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces men are your best friends or lovers, so check them out.

SAGITTARIUS – Nine of Cups

This is one of the three wish cards in the tarot deck and is your lucky talisman this week. Be sure you know what you want and be mindful of your actions. Worries are fading and new, exciting opportunities start to materialise. You attract what you want so remain positive about personal and financial goals. You feel happy and content.

CAPRICORN – The Hermit

This is the ninth card of the Tarot and therefore signifies completion of a cycle. The figure stands on top of a mountain, he’s alone but not lonely, shining his light so others can see the way. It’s your week to be a shining example to others, to be a peacemaker not an agitator, a healer of hearts no less!

AQUARIUS – Page of Swords

You may be challenged to stand up for your principles or to take on those who seek to question your motives. At times you may feel that you’re lying on a bed of nails as others around you can be so prickly! If the cool understanding approach isn’t working, creatively think outside the box and stun them with your brilliance.

PISCES – Four of Pentacles

Relax this week and count your blessings, you feel more secure and peaceful with life generally. Be happy with what you’ve achieved and feel content with what you have. Money invested in building/property shows a healthy return for the investment, so don’t shy away if such an opportunity presents itself. Expect fun times at home rather than out and about.

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Believe in Liberty Seguros

Believe in the market leader is the main message that Liberty Seguros, the expats number 1 choice of insurance company, wants to convey to its ever-growing international customer base across Spain. The campaign, geared to re-affirm its position as the favourite choice when it comes to insurance, is focused heavily in areas including the Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Costa Almería, Costa del Sol, the Canaries and the Balearics. Principality, it will target Britons, Germans, Scandinavians and Dutch for both permanent and temporary residents.

Liberty emphasizes its: ‘better care, better service and better insurance’ attributes, as well as simplicity and convenience, in dealing with a company that works with over 200 brokers with face to face personal assistance at all stages of the insurance process.

As Iván Ortego, Expatriate’s Commercial Manager of Liberty Seguros explains, “many expats are disenchanted at having to listen to recorded messages from a machine and much prefer to discuss their insurance needs with a friendly face in one of our broker offices and to receive advice from an expert in their field. Additionally, our products which include car, home, marine, pet, commercial and personal liability, are specifically suited and written for expatriates in their language in an easy to understand format making the process less daunting”

To contract insurance from Liberty Seguros, there are many ways to get in touch. One can telephone 902 255 258 for an instant quote and the name of your nearest broker or visit

www.libertyexpatriates.es

Alternatively, if you know where your nearest broker is, just pop along and talk to someone in their nice warm office you never know, you might even get a cup of tea!